AIA Ohio 2017 Design Award Winners

AIA Ohio 2017 Design Award Winners 

Columbus Metropolitan Library, Whitehall Branch Library | Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design

Honor Award Winner


This Whitehall Library is the first of two projects that are part of the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Vision2020, a district-wide building initiative intended to re-create all of the system’s branches in the context of the library of the future. This new library, located on vacant property in Whitehall, had as its overarching goals:

1) maximizing access to customers

2) creating transparent architecture in an open environment

3) providing flexible and adaptable spaces

4) having a strong presence and becoming a changing agent in a challenged community.

The design was based upon a simple, open and transparent public reading room flanked by adjacent meeting rooms and services. The building is located along a main arterial street and two prominent and opposing entries provide easy access for both pedestrians and vehicles while joining the urban environment with the adjacent neighborhoods. The interior spaces are highly flexible, ensuring the library’s future relevance in a rapidly changing environment of technologies, information access and community needs.

Wilson Road Trailhead | WSA Studio

Honor Award Winner

wilson road

The new Wilson Road Trailhead park serves as a major trailhead for the Camp Chase Rail Trail. WSA Studio and the project team worked closely with not only the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, but also the community as a whole. The team facilitated community and stakeholder meetings. Based on community input, the 47-acre park includes an open-air shelter with picnic tables, bike racks, and a bike-repair station. The project was completed in the Spring of 2017 and has already seen a great deal of use from cyclists and park-goers. This is the first park created on the west side of Columbus in 15 years. 


Columbus Museum of Art Margaret M. Walter Wing | DesignGroup

Merit Award Winner


This two-story building project consists of three parts: a major addition of nearly 62,000 square feet, a major renovation of the CMA’s 32,000 square foot 1974 Wing addition, and associated site work related to a new main entrance, sculpture garden, and dependent outdoor spaces. The design team asked a series of provocative questions of CMA about both the relationship of a museum to contemporary culture and the importance of a museum’s physical relationship to the city and its citizens. The building design is a reflection of the answers to the questions, in addition to CMA’s stated ambition to be more visible, relevant, and connected to the community as a meeting point between art, the public, and the physical city.


People's Choice Awards

AIA Columbus 2017 People's Choice Winner

Ecole Kenwood French Immersion Elementary School | Fanning Howey


Ecole Kenwood French Immersion Elementary School is an alternative school located near the Kenwood Area of northwestern Columbus, Ohio. As part of the International Feeder Pattern for Columbus International High School, Ecole Kenwood draws students from throughout the city of Columbus, and these students benefit from the strong relationships they build with fellow classmates as they advance through the feeder pattern together. However, those bonds are notinitially present in elementary school, at time when students are leaving their home neighborhoods and friends to come learn at Ecole Kenwood.

Strengthening connections between students and creating a true community atmosphere is the overarching concept behind the design of the new elementary school. The building is arranged as five distinct small learning communities stacked in an efficient two-story academic wing. Library, computer and art program areas connect the communities, allowing students to stay in their academic area for everything other than music, gym, lunch and recess.

The spine of each small learning community is a central thoroughfare called the flex studio. As students walk along the flex studio, they encounter digital presentation hubs, small group areas, galleries for displaying student work, inspirational quote walls and views into other classrooms. The entire experience creates a student-centered environment that grounds children in a strong sense of place and connects students and teachers to one another in a powerful way.

The design concept connects the two-story academic wing and the public areas of the school with a large Gathering Stair that seats 75 to 80 students at one time. With their very own Spanish Steps, students are able to make presentations, participate in large group meetings or sit and listen to a teacher-directed lecture. The Gathering Stair has quickly become a favorite destination within the school, thanks to its inspiring setting. The two-story atrium surrounding the Gathering Stair includes student artwork displays and signage with French quotes that were carefully selected by Ecole Kenwood teachers.

The gym, cafeteria and administration offices are grouped on the south end of the building. Although Ecole Kenwood students come from across the city, the building is still a resource for multiple local community groups, and public areas are zoned for after-hours use of the facility. For example, the Kenwood Area Residents Association uses the café for monthly meetings.

While Ecole Kenwood’s French Immersion curriculum connects students to a global mindset, the careful design of the building grounds children in a strong sense of place and fosters a vibrant educational community.

Second Place: Drexel Theater Renovation | M+A Architects

Third Place: PAST Innovation Lab | WSA Studio

Stories of Architects

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john gladden flyer

February 13, 2020 at The Center for Architecture and Design.

5:00 | Reception

5:30 | Presentation

Come and enjoy an hour of storytelling from local architects and learn all about what the Diversity by Design committee and what we do.

Featuring: John Gladden, AIA

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The concept of Re.Learn has defined John Gladden’s career. From 1980 to 1996, John followed a traditional career path, working for multiple Columbus-area firms, and even starting his own practice. But in 1996, complications during brain surgery robbed John of the use of his dominant hand and left him with a severe case of aphasia. For the next two and a half years, John had to Re.Learn how to be an architect. Fueled by a drive to innovate, to embrace failure and to celebrate mastery, John adopted visualization tools as a way to communicate and collaborate with clients and colleagues. With his newfound skill set, John joined the Dublin, Ohio, office of Fanning Howey in 1999 and has devoted the last 21 years of his career to designing smarter places for learning. Today, John is a principal with Fanning Howey, and he has more than 70 school designs to his credit. 

Register here.

Sponsored by:

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