GREATER COLUMBUS CONVENTION CENTER
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Information seems to give organization to the complexity of our times. It marks an age in which we are beginning to free ourselves from the constraints of a mechanistic culture. As we move beyond this culture, so too will architecture move beyond the traditional forms of the monumental to “a civic architecture of the between,” celebrating the many small transactions necessary to the dynamics of a vital city.
Our design is at once strangely familiar and quite unfamiliar. It suggests the rail yards that once occupied the site, nearby highway ribbons, and overlays of the fiber optic cables of the information age. The oddly mysterious forms in the center are not new to architecture, but the tradition of the monumental and its search for ideal symbolic forms has neglected the poignancy and significance of these “between” forms, the subtleties and deviations that produce the living architecture so important to a city.
A persistent problem in convention center design is diagrammatic clarity. As any visitor to a convention center knows, such buildings are so large and the concourses so homogeneous that one never quite knows where one is. This problem is usually addressed with an unsightly abundance of signage. In our scheme, differences in forms clearly distinguish the various exhibition spaces and parts of the concourse.