Posts tagged with "Columbus Indiana":

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IKD has pioneered hardwood cross-laminated timber

Thanks to a two-year, $250,000 Wood Innovations Grant from the United States Forest Service, and with further support from the National Hardwood Lumber Association, Indiana Hardwood Lumberman’s Association, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, IKD is currently working on an advancement that may completely change the cross-laminated timber (CLT) market. Currently, CLT is made primarily of softwoods, which have the advantage of being fast growing and inexpensive. IKD believes the future of CLT should also include hardwood, and now it just might. As a proof of concept, IKD has constructed a large installation, which stands as the first hardwood CLT structure in the United States. The project was built with an experimental CLT material made from low-value hardwood-sawn logs for Exhibit Columbus, the new architectural exhibition in the modernist mecca of Columbus, Indiana. A reference to the conversation pit in the Eero Saarinen–designed Miller House, the IKD’s Conversation Plinth is a multilevel occupiable installation in the plaza in front of the I.M. Pei–designed Cleo Rogers Memorial Library. The motivations behind using hardwood are two-fold. Currently, over 50 percent of the 80 million cubic feet of hardwood harvested in Indiana each year is used for low-value industrial products. By integrating this wood into the higher-value CLT, it raises the value of what is already Indiana’s largest cash crop. And from the perspective of designers and engineers, hardwood CLT provides the possibility of a more fire-resistant panel and a form-factor advantage. “We are currently exploring a number of applications that could have larger scale building applications,” IKD partner Yugon Kim said. “Since hardwood has superior mechanical properties, we believe we can achieve a panel that could be thinner to meet the same structural capacity of an equivalent softwood CLT panel.” The Conversation Plinth is not simply an exhibition piece for IKD. It is a test of the hardwood CLT the firm developed with SmartLam, the first CLT manufacturer in the United States. Over the months, the project will be subjected to the varied and sometimes-extreme weather of south-central Indiana, providing firsthand data that IKD and SmartLam can use to advance their research on the material. From the beating sun of late summer through the sleet, snow, and ice of winter, the project will be monitored for durability as well as aesthetic and structural changes. “We are closely observing the mixed-species panels and seeing how they react in the extreme temperature and moisture fluctuations so that we can continue to refine the species mix within the panel, the adhesion process, and the finish application and approach,” Kim explained. “It is really interesting to see how differently hardwood moves from softwood when the moisture content varies, and we are looking deeper at the fiber structures and unique characters of species themselves as well to create a superior CLT panel.” The project continues much of the timber research IKD has been doing, including its design for the Timber City at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., and work on timber modular waste units, a timber version of CMU made from timber waste that has won numerous awards. Resources Project Lead and Designer IKD CLT Fabrication SmartLam Timber Engineering Bensonwood Phase One Hardwood Testing Material Supplier Pike Lumber Company Phase Two Conversation Plinth Hardwood Material Supplier Koetter Woodworking General Contractor Taylor Brothers Construction Co. Softwood Material Supplier And Fabricator Sauter Timber
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2017 Best of Design Awards for New Materials

2017 Best of Design Award for New Materials: Indiana Hardwood Cross-Laminated Timber Project Designer: IKD Location: Columbus, Indiana The Indiana hardwood cross-laminated timber (HCLT) project is the first commercial pressing of HCLT and the first use of HCLT in a built project in the United States. IKD aspires to create a new timber product by upcycling low-value hardwood sawn logs that are extracted from Indiana forests. Indiana’s largest cash crop is hardwood, but over 55 percent of each log processed is of low value. The firm set out to demonstrate how low-value hardwood can be used to create high-value HCLT, which can then be used as the primary structure for buildings. This process has the potential to initiate a cascade of effects: positive job growth in rural forestry and manufacturing, hardwood lumber market expansion, forest land value increase, and improved forest management practices. HCLT offers numerous benefits over softwood, including superior mechanical properties, material volume savings, and increased fire resistance. “The use of hardwood in mass timber is appealing on many levels. Its added strength and durability over softwoods makes it ideal for exterior applications.” —Nathaniel Stanton, principal, Craft Engineer Studio (juror) CLT Fabricator: Smartlam Timber Engineers: Bensonwood General Contractor: Taylor Brothers Construction Hardwood Material Supplier: Koetter Woodworking Grant Funding: United State Forest Service Wood Innovation Grant
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AN speaks with director of Indiana University’s new M.Arch program

AN spoke with T. Kelly Wilson, Director of Graduate Studies at the new M.Arch program at Indiana University (IU), about what it takes to start a new architecture program and his vision for the future of the school. Rather than being based in Bloomington, the school will be located in the Modernist mecca of Columbus, Indiana. As the new program opens admissions, Wilson discussed building a new faculty and how the school will approach architecture education. The Architect's Newspaper: What prompted the idea to add an architecture program to the university? T. Kelly Wilson: The president of the university, Michael McRobbie, is wild about architecture. It’s my understanding that when he took his position, he immediately floated the idea of starting an architecture program, but the state has a rule that there can be no duplicate degrees among state universities. Nobody really likes this configuration anymore, but there had to be some political capital and time spent to win in this argument.  At first, we started by building an undergraduate degree which would take place partially here in Columbus. It was in the middle of building that degree that we got a call asking us to make a master’s degree. In the past, we discussed with Columbus the idea of having a graduate program, and, of course, architecture was the perfect degree for this town. How do you see the architecture program interact with the larger School of Art, Architecture and Design? We are a satellite program, with the vast majority of the classes taking place in Columbus and many taking place in our nomadic studio which will travel around the world. We plan to have faculty rotate, and we want to utilize all of IU’s artists, scientists, and liberal arts experts, not just architecture faculty. We’ve specifically written into our budget a way in which faculty can interact with our students in many different ways. This will include a very aggressive gallery and exhibition program, as well as a residency program. With a new program comes a new faculty. How are you building that team? We’ve sent out an APB for faculty, and we’ve hired admin to get things going. All of these people need to be designers, and right now we’re looking for seniority. At some point each faculty is going to have to help build this new program, and you never know what that might mean. The second thing that we're looking for in new faculty is that they have their own secondary practice in visual arts. We intend to build a curriculum that gives time to visual arts equal to that of design studios, with the caveat that there’s no homework. The students should be working on their architecture studio work at night. This will give them enough time and space to explore all manner of visual investigation, but we’re not going to write any pedagogy to link the two. We believe that the synthesis belongs in the head of the student, rather than in the curriculum. If you do these two things in parallel for three years, you’ll find the linkages between the two through your own proclivity or happenstance. It will also help you build your own voice on why you would choose one form over another in the work you produce. We are also looking for someone who is an expert in digital fabrication and design and its contemporary techniques. Cummins Diesel has generously donated a number of robots, so we need to build a Fab Lab, and will need somebody to run that. We think we may need to hire nearly five people each year while the program is being built. The next step is getting students. How many are you hoping to have in the first classes, and what is the goal for the size of the program in the future? That question gets asked of me a lot. The practical answer is that we are looking to get one or two studios worth in the first year. So let’s say that’s between 20 and 30 students. The hope is then to double that every year till we get closer to 90 or 100 students. I feel that once you hit about 300 students in the whole school a real culture begins the take shape. Right now, we are getting emails every day for prospective students. Many from around the Midwest, but also a handful coming from out East as word has gotten out. Admissions are open through January, so we will see.
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“Columbus” is an ode to the Indiana city’s modernist architecture

The Columbus we know best is not in Indiana. But Kogonada’s eponymous feature film shifts our attention to a lesser-known Midwestern city in Indiana, one with a progressive reputation and a travel destination for architecture aficionados. Columbus introduces this exceptional city with its rich modernist heritage to a larger audience. Atypical in its blend of a documentary style and narrative, it was screened at Sundance to surprising critical success and presented at the prestigious BAM Cinefest. The debut film marks Kogonada’s transition from videographer to filmmaker. The impeccable framing and characteristic lingering shots reveal Kogonada’s deep involvement with the work of director Jasujiro Ozu, the subject of his unfinished dissertation. The long slow takes that heighten the dramatic presence of the characters and a meticulous attention to place and historical context suggest the influence Neorealist auteurs. With this cinematic foundation, Kogonada goes on to develop a hybrid approach to filmmaking. The result of his efforts is an indelible portrait of place. Indeed, we leave the theatre with a feeling we have been there, led through a small selection of modernist buildings on one of the official architectural tours. Unlike most cities, with their abandoned city centers, spotty pockets of skyscrapers, and suburban sprawl, Columbus has an astonishing number of ground-hugging public buildings and businesses, and the film explores the impact this architecture has on the city and its inhabitants. But Kogonada has a more ambitious and complex project in mind. The film is driven by a spare, somewhat improbable narrative. Jin, played by John Cho, is a translator stranded in the city while his semi-estranged father, a famous architectural historian, is hospitalized for a coma following a stroke. We witness his encounter with Casey, played by the highly lauded Haley Lu Richardson, a tour guide who has relinquished her studies to take care of her heroine-addicted mother. Casey leads Jin through the city, introducing him to her favorite buildings. She, an ardent supporter of her town’s rich architectural heritage, tries to convey how she is personally affected by the buildings. She describes the moment she first “saw” them and what they meant to her. Casey claims most people “don’t give a shit about architecture,” but Deborah Berke’s First Financial Bank speaks to her in a profound way. Are we to suppose that it offers a sense of order in her otherwise chaotic life? Can we then understand how modern architecture engenders that sense of stability in a complex world? Casey explains that Berke deploys a basic asymmetry, and then works to create “a delicate balance” among the parts. They discuss the merits of James Polshek’s claim that architecture is “responsible for healing,” as they stand before his bridge leading to the hospital. Two Saarinen churches elicit questions about religion and modern architecture. These and other issues constitute the conversations between the two characters as they meet and move through the city exploring the buildings. We observe them observing, we see what they see, and are invited to ponder the questions with them. To clarify and enrich our understanding of the modernist architecture, the camera sets up a kind of compare-and-contrast as it moves from the public buildings to the interiors of Casey’s modest, low-lit home where she resides with her mother. Close cropped shots of quotidian details conjure the claustrophobic, yet cozy environment in striking contrast with those of the lavish Edwardian Irwin Inn where Jin resides. “Not very modernist,” he claims, stating the obvious, yet at the time of the final renovation in 1910, it was praised for its modern use of electricity, telephone, intercom, and even a hydraulic elevator. We wander through lavish rooms pausing over the British oak furniture, silk lined walls, tiles from France and Wales, and explore the extravagant gardens in long takes as leaves on a single tree flutter in a gentle breeze. These images provide the backdrop for an asexual yet emotionally charged and intensely intimate friendship between the two as they recount their lives and struggles. The terse dialogue is punctuated by long silences as we await their self-realizations. But somehow, despite the careful structure and fine acting, the storyline of their relationship ultimately fails to move us. The architecture of the plot is revealed in the way that structural systems are deliberately exposed in some buildings. Perhaps this parallel was Kogonada’s intention? Ultimately, the contrivance of the plot lessens the transformative impact of the story. On the contrary, what moves us most is Elisha Christian’s cinematography. Each shot seems deliberate, designed to reveal the way buildings work. One watches indistinguishable figures moving through passageways in the distance while the actors converse in the foreground. A skateboarder surprises us as he glides across the screen only to disappear into the shadows through a hallway in the background. Perhaps the most powerful moments occur when Casey discovers that her mother has resumed lying to her. We see Casey, hidden in the dark, telephoning one of the cleaners working through the night, her red shirt punctuating the brightly lit office. This scene calls to mind Krzysztof Wodiczko’s projection piece at the Venice Biennale in 2009, in which he created a Venetian arcade along the interior walls of the exhibition space. Between each column was a scrim with what appeared to be shadows of the piazza beyond, rather like a camera obscura. Wodiczko conjured life in the streets, and we hear barely audible fragments of conversations coming from the invisible piazza. In contrast, what we see in Columbus is a single, solitary figure moving through stark, pristine spaces. The only sounds are those of the tete-a-tetes of our characters. What pervades this film is the silence of Edward Hopper’s paintings and a profound loneliness mediated by the promise of modern architecture. ­
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Detroit architect Gunnar Birkerts has died at 92

Latvian architect Gunnar Birkerts has passed away at age 92. The Detroit-based architect was best known for his formally exuberant interiors that carried on the legacy of Eero Saarinen; in 1951 Birkerts came to the U.S. to work with Saarinen in Birmingham, Michigan. He also worked in the offices of Perkins + Will before starting his own practice where he developed a unique style around unexpected angular forms and layered, folding planes that defined spectacular spaces. His work extended the Scandinavian tradition into late modernism, especially with his use of indirect lighting (via skylights) in ways similar to the Saarinens and Alvar Aalto. Some of his most notable projects include the Kansas City Museum of Contemporary Art; the Calvary Baptist Church of Detroit; The Corning Glass Museum in Corning, New York; Lincoln Elementary School in Columbus, Indiana; and The Latvian National Library, also known as the Castle of Light.  
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Modern architecture stars in Kogonada’s Columbus

“Well, that’s Columbus—meth and modernism,” quips 19-year-old protagonist Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), in the new independent film Columbus. Directed by Kogonada, the movie centers on Columbus, Indiana, so much so that the city and its architecture functions as a character equal to the actors (and of course, lending itself to the film’s title). In context, her remark isn’t a flippant dismissal of the town but a reflection of larger issues Kogonado contemplates in his work. “Do forms make a difference? Do buildings make our lives better even when they are bad?” This is a particularly apt question to ask in a city like Columbus, which, although known for its architecture, is not exactly known as a cultural hotspot. It is rare that architecture features so heavily in what is otherwise a clever coming-of-age tale, but even the plot emerged from the city’s buildings. Kogonada was inspired by visiting the southern Indiana city and wrote the script based on his observations. “The City of Columbus had to give us permission to film there, or else we wouldn’t have made the film,” Kogonada said in a discussion following a screening at BAM. Scenes center on, around, and in the soaring modernist works by Eliel and Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, and Deborah Berke, as Casey rapidly gains aesthetic awareness and an appreciation for architecture as she grapples with staying in her hometown and taking care of her mother (a recovering meth addict) while her friends go off to college. She encounters Jin (John Cho), a Korean-American translator who comes to the city to care for his father, a noted architectural historian who falls critically ill while visiting Columbus; the pair form a relationship. The plot itself is charming and smart, but it is the film’s pacing, styling, and setting that elevate it to what the New Yorker has described as “precocious genius.” Kogonada incorporates the architecture both blatantly and subtly. Throughout, Casey names and describes each building to Jin, a newcomer to Columbus—Eliel Saarinen's First Christian Church, I.M. Pei's Cleo Rogers Memorial Library, Eero Saarinen’s Miller house, the Irwin Conference Center, and North Christian Church, Deborah Berke’s Irwin Union Bank, and Robert A.M. Stern’s Columbus Regional Hospital, among others. Those structures not explicitly labeled still loom prominently in the setting. Architectural themes also permeate the film, most notably the exploration of absence and presence, void and volume. Kogonada explores this several different ways: Whenever music plays, there is an absence of dialogue; when Jin speaks Korean, there is an absence of subtitles; characters refer to plot moments that never came up; and at times there is silence even though the audience can see that the person is speaking. Other questions are grappled with, as well: “Can architecture heal?” “Do the buildings we grow up around inform our views of the world?” “What makes modernism important?” They are good questions and ones that the architectural, art, and design communities debate often, but in Columbus they are opened up to the layperson and architecture aficionado alike. For screenings and more information, see the film's website.
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Cummins to announce major project for Columbus, Indiana

Representatives from the diesel engine manufacturer, Cummins, the State of Indiana, the City of Columbus, Indiana, and Bartholomew County, are expected to make an announcement next week regarding a major investment in the city and the Cummins global headquarters. While details are still limited, officials have indicated that as much as $80 million will be spent on a new railroad overpass and another project within Cummins’s global headquarters in downtown Columbus. The announcement is scheduled to take place at 1:00 p.m. at the Cummins office. The railroad overpass will likely serve Cummins manufacturing in the area. The Cummins global headquarters was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Kevin Roche. Constructed in 1983, the building is one of many notable architecture projects in the small central Indiana town. Cummins’s CEO, H. Irwin Miller, was a longtime patron of architecture and was the founder of the Cummins Foundation in the 1950’s. The Cummins Foundation provides support, though the payment of architecture fees, for the construction of public buildings in Columbus.
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Furniture designer Jonathan Nesci on his move to modernist mecca Columbus, Indiana

You might say that furniture designer Jonathan Nesci is doing things in reverse. Rather than starting his career in a small town and ending with his work selling at auction in the big city, he is making a go at high design in a small community. After working at the Wright design auction house in Chicago, Nesci made the seemingly unconventional move away from the furniture mecca to a small town in south-central Indiana. But that small town was none other than Columbus, Indiana, the modernist playground. Nesci sat down with AN Midwest Editor Matthew Messner to discuss.

The Architect’s Newspaper: Why the move from Chicago to Columbus, Indiana?

Jonathan Nesci: Primarily, my move was a family decision. During the financial mess of 2008–2009, my time at Wright had come to an end and I felt like we needed a fresh start. I felt like I could really work from anywhere, and the thought of my kids getting a chance to grow up in a place like Columbus was and continues to be very appealing. This is not meant to ignore my obvious connection to the architecture, but on a whole the appeal of Columbus is very broad.

Have you found living surrounded by many masterpieces of modernist architecture to be beneficial to your work?

It’s undeniable. It’s energizing to see the Henry Moore sculpture at different times of day, or catch a different view of an Eero Saarinen project that I hadn’t seen before. So much of my design work is informed by the past; I feel very fortunate to get to interact with these places on a regular basis. It’s also encouraging to see some great examples of the built environment really working for people. Architecture and design can make a difference and are doing so here. Not just for me but for an entire community. That’s really powerful.

You are often associated with the architecture community, especially through collaborations and exhibitions. What do you take from those formal or informal relationships?

I’m eternally grateful for the connections to my peers in the design and architecture community. These relationships inform and inspire me. Columbus is my creative island, but it’s important for me to travel and see other ways of working and learn from my contemporaries. I have so much respect for work that rises above the norm, and I admire those who are pioneers in this industry. I feel like my world is all about connections and dialogue.

Your work is directly tied to the manufacturing process. Could you talk about your relationship to the people who make it?

My hope is that the relationship between designer and producer makes both of us better at what we do. This collaboration pushes design and fabrication further, and it’s this fusion of ideas that excites me. I guess the most significant change since moving to Columbus is developing a great relationship with numerous local firms, specifically Noblitt Fabricating. It’s rewarding and beneficial to see multiple projects through with the same team.

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Indiana University Bloomington to launch new Master of Architecture program

Starting in the fall of 2018, there will be a new Master of Architecture degree program in the Midwest. Indiana University Bloomington (IU) will offer the degree from the campus's new School of Art and Design. The primary focus of the program will be in Columbus, Indiana, the modernist playground located south of Indianapolis. “The addition of the new Master of Architecture degree program, together with the new program in intelligent systems engineering, will contribute enormously to IU’s efforts to create and sustain a culture of ‘building and making’ on our Bloomington campus,” IU President Michael A. McRobbie said in a press release. “We view this culture as being essential and transformative for IU, enabling us to maximize the university’s potential for developing its inventions and innovations for the economic benefit of all Hoosiers. At the same time, architecture is a superb complement to IU's outstanding strengths in the arts and humanities." Working with the Columbus community, Columbus Architectural Archive, and the Institute for Coalition Building of the Columbus Education Coalition, an initial class of 20 students will design with the town as a backdrop and site of research. The program will also build on the coursework already available at the IU Center for Art and Design Columbus, which opened in downtown Columbus in 2011. Before the launch of a new Master of Architecture program, an agreement was reached with Ball State University, which is the closest school to offer undergraduate and graduate architecture degrees. The agreement recognizes that the IU program will be distinct in its approach and curriculum from Ball State, and outlines how the two schools can collaborate in the future. "The architectural heritage of Columbus will provide our Master of Architecture students with an incredibly rich and innovative educational experience," said Peg Faimon, dean of the School of Art and Design. "This, coupled with the wide array of opportunities in the School of Art and Design and IU Bloomington, will make this program unique in its ability to educate a new generation of architects ready to take on the challenges of the 21st century." The School of Art and Design at IU Bloomington is young as well, having only launched last year as part of the College of Art and Sciences. The schools focus so far has combined programs of study from the Department of Studio Art and the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design. The new Master of Architecture program has been approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, a major step in its realization.
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Exhibit Columbus names Miller Prize winners

Exhibit Columbus has named the winners of the inaugural J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Competition. The winning proposals will be constructed as five installations spread across Columbus, Indiana, the small town two that is home to dozens of modernist masterpieces. The installations will be one of the main attractions at the 2017 iteration of Exhibit Columbus, a new yearly event which connects contemporary architecture with the city’s storied design past. A two-part architectural event, the inaugural symposium of Exhibit Columbus was held in the fall of 2016. The inaugural exhibition, which will include the installations, will open on August 26, 2017. The winners of this year’s J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Competition are: Milwaukee-based studio:indigenous’s Wiikiaami The copper-clad form takes cues from the dwellings of the Miyaamia, the indigenous people of central Indiana. It will sit near the Saarinen and Saarinen-designed First Christian Church. Boston-Based IKD’s Conversation Plinth Situated across the street from the First Christian Church, in the Plaza of the I.M. Pei-designed Cleo Rogers Memorial Library, Conversation Plinth plays off the conversation pit in the famed Eero Saarinen-designed Miller House, also located in Columbus. Los Angeles-based Oyler Wu Collaborative’s Untitled The project takes on Euclidean geometries, solid/void relationships, and tectonics to complete the implied spaces formed by the canopies of the Eero Saarinen-designed Irwin Conference Center. New Haven-based Plan B Architecture & Urbanism’s Anything can happen in the woods Built on the grounds of the Keven Roche John Dinkelloo Associates-designed Cummins Corporate Office Building, Anything can happen in the woods works with the sites existing colonnade to produce a forest of reflective columns. Tuscon and New York-based Aranda\Lasch’s Another Circle Constructed in the Michael Van Valkenburgh-designed Mill Race Park, Another Circle brings 2,800 pieces of salvaged Indiana limestone into a 3.5-acre Stonehenge-like circle. The epic piece will tie together a pedestrian trail, the nearby river, and the park’s lake. The jury for the Miller prize consisted of Sean Anderson, associate curator in the Department of Architecture and Design, Museum of Modern Art, Lise Anne Couture, co-founder and principal, Asymptote Architecture, Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Dung Ngo, publisher, August Editions. The installations will be joined by 10 other installations by international designers and Midwest architecture and design students. Along Washington Street, in Columbus’s Downtown, five international galleries have each chosen one of the design practices they represent to participate in the event. Those galleries and designers include; London’s Dzek gallery, with designers Studio Formafantasma, Copenhagen’s Etage Projects, with designers Pettersen & Hein, Brussels’s Maniera gallery, with designers Productora, New York's Patrick Parrish Gallery with designer Cody Hoyt, and Chicago’s Volume Gallery with designers Snarkitecture. The university participants will build installations on the grounds of the Ralph Johnson-designed Central Middle School and the Gunner Birkerts-designed Lincoln Elementary School. The universities involved will be Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning, The Ohio State University Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture, University of Cincinnati School of Architecture and Interior Design University of Kentucky College of Design, School of Architecture, and the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Students from the Indiana University Center for Art + Design will also create an installation with the help of a designer-in-residence at the Eero Saarenin-designed North Christian Church.
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Ten finalists present installation proposals for Exhibit Columbus

On December 10th, ten finalists descended on Columbus, Indiana, to present concepts for the inaugural J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Competition. The competition is the part of Exhibit Columbus, a yearly architectural event held to highlight the city’s vast collection of architectural masterpieces. Along with the competition, all ten finalists participated in the opening symposium for Exhibit Columbus earlier this fall. The ten proposals took the form of temporary installations for five sites stretching across the city along 5th Street. Each site is associated with an architectural icon in the city, two of which are National Historic Landmarks. Judging the projects is a team of five guest jurors including Sean Anderson, associate curator in the Department of Architecture and Design, Museum of Modern Art, Lise Anne Couture, co-founder and principal, Asymptote Architecture, Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Dung Ngo, publisher, August Editions. Each project will be judged on “its formal/spatial relationship to the site, ability to activate the space, innovation in the use of materials, and ability to stimulate a dialogue with the context of the site.” The format of the competition is not typical in that teams are paired head to head on each of the five sites. From the ten proposals, five will be awarded the Miller prize, one for each site, and given the opportunity to develop and build their installation for the 2017 Exhibit Columbus. Winners are expected to be announced in January 2017. Joining the five installations will be more than ten other installations by international designers, students from universities across the Midwest, as well as local students. “With such a talented group, each project was an incredible new idea for the jury to consider. Our expectation is that this event will have a big impact on the Columbus community for years to come,” said Richard McCoy, director of Landmark Columbus, the organization that created and runs Exhibit Columbus. The sites and Proposals are as follows: Site number one is the First Christian Church by Saarinen and Saarinen, built in 1942. For the site, Boston-based Höweler + Yoon proposed Pattern Pavilion. Taking cues from the decorative motif carved into the stone on the church and referencing other Saarinen projects, the Pattern Pavilion extrudes the 2-D geometry into a volumetric canopy. The alignment of the project frames the Church and the I.M. Pei-designed library across the street. Also competing for the First Christian Church site is Milwaukee-based studio:indigenous. Inspired by the dwellings of the Miyaamia, the indigenous people of central Indiana, Wiikiaami is a contemporary take on the wigwam. Clad in copper scales, the project aligns with the church’s famed campanile and the autumnal equinox. Across from the First Christian Church sits the second site, the Cleo Rogers Memorial Library, designed by I.M. Pei and Partners by 1969. Boston-based IKD’s Conversation Plinth was inspired by the conversation pit in the Miller House as well as the plinths that elevate the landmarks surrounding the Library. The design calls for large shifting timber plinths to wrap through the library’s front plaza. Competing against IKD is the collaborative team of Los Angeles-based Johnston Marklee and Jonathan Olivares. Their View Room and Conversation Benches is a roofless structure which frames views of the library and the surrounding sculptures. The 1954 Irwin Conference Center by Eero Saarinen and Associates is the third site. Los Angeles-based Ball-Nogues Studio designed Bank and Trust in Paper (a reference to the building's original name) which echoes the plan and roof of the low-slung structure. Made of a waterproof treated recycled paper, the canopy is molded in forms reminiscent of Saarinen’s designs such as the iconic tulip chair. Untitled, by Los Angeles-based Oyler Wu Collaborative, is focused on three main concepts: Euclidean geometries, solid/void relationships, and tectonics. The design completes spaces implied by three canopies, originally part of the drive-up bank. The team adds new walls which are solid, built of thin lines, or carved away into voids. The fourth site is Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo Associates’ 1983 Cummins Corporate Office Building. Los Angeles-based Baumgartner + Uriu’s Machines Suspended extrudes the saw-tooth pattern of the office building's layout into a three-dimension multi-directional object. Hanging in the building's colonnade, the object defines new spaces and ways of habituating the space. New Haven-based Plan B Architecture & Urbanism’s proposal Anything can happen in the woods transforms the site’s colonnade into an urban forest of reflective columns. The surrounding greenery and built structure reflect in project. The final site is the Mill Race Park, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates with architecture by Stanley Saitowitz in 1992. Another Circle by Tuscon and New York-based Aranda\Lasch adds a henge-like stone circle to the park. Using 2,800 pieces of salvaged Indiana limestone, the 3.5-acre stone circle ties together the park's lake, pedestrian trail, and river. Tulsa-based artist Rachel B. Hayes Studio proposal Chroma Connection is comprised of colorful ripstop nylon. Stretching through the site's covered bridge into the lake at the heart of the park, the projects is meant to appear as if it is built out of pure color.
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Columbus, Indiana—“The New Detroit”?

This post is part of our years-long running Eavesdrop series (think page 6 for the architectural field). It’s your best source for gossip, insider stories, and more. Have an eavesdrop of your own? Send it to: eavesdrop[at]

Columbus, Indiana, has been getting attention in the press lately, and the design community has taken notice. At one high-level design dinner, a prominent design figure jokingly referred to Columbus as “The New Detroit.” While the metaphor is wildly inaccurate based on economics and demographics, there is a kernel of truth there, as the small Midwestern town is becoming a hot design destination. Luckily the buildings are in better shape.