The Ohio State University | 2011
AIA Columbus Honor Award (2011)
A 1960s Brutalist Style structure on the campus of The Ohio State University, has been extensively renovated as the new home of the College of Public Health, with offices, classrooms and bioscience laboratories. The renovations were required to retain the concrete structure and much of the signature Brutalist precast concrete panel exteriors while improving upon a number of deficiencies, including the lack of interior day-lighting, confusing interior circulation, limited contextual relationship, the lack of clarity of the building’s entries that were located on four identical façades, and the aesthetic limitations of this particular example of Brutalist architecture – all this while achieving LEED Gold certification.
The singular move of creating a new north-south orientation led to the resolution of these deficiencies. Precast panels were replaced with a new glass curtain wall and glass canopy above the new north entry and a forty foot deep slot was carved into the south façade. The new glazing, the slot and a 2-story atrium all bring a flood of daylight into the building. A new north-south lobby at each floor connects the north and south entries through the building, providing a clear internal orientation and new exterior views to the campus. New full-height glass stair towers at each entry clearly establish the new points of access – the south serving as the main access for college faculty, staff and students entering from the medical campus and the north serving main campus students accessing the first floor classrooms. The extensive use of glass in the alterations and additions creates a clear distinction between old and new, reinforcing the integrity of the original Brutalist architecture while creating a new and current image for the building and its occupants. The interiors feature perimeter both open offices suites and enclosed offices using demountable partitions with glass panels that bring daylight into the corridors and other interior spaces. LEED design features include all new advanced HVAC systems and controls, the extensive (95%) recycling of nearly all of the demolition and construction materials, the green roof adjacent to the second floor atrium and the new rain garden located in the south entry court. The anticipated LEED Gold certification will be the first such certification and the first LEED renovation project for the university.