New Kids on the Block – Assignment 3: Planning “Local” Development

Much effort was made to create a site plan and design that reflected the city of Columbus, Ohio.  The proposal being submitted to Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District took may aspects into consideration for the purposed mixed-use development at the corner of High Street and Gay Street.  A survey was done of local history and the following themes were selected as inspiration for the final design:

  • Aviation
  • Rivers/Water/Erie Canal
  • “Arch City”
  • Limestone
  • Steel
  • Diversified Economy
  • Education
  • Arts
  • Government

A balance was sought to incorporate as many of these historical themes as possible, into the ascetics of the development.  the final product was something literally bridging the gap between a structure, at Long and High Street, reminiscent of Victorian architecture already present throughout Columbus, and a modern approach to Art Deco, at Gay and High Street.  Primarily, this was achieved in through the incorporation of:  arches, steel footbridges, glazed brick/tile, limestone cornice/columns, glass, patios/balconies, and lanterns.

The following was prepared as a study of these elements.

Design Elements

Elm Court | Mixed-Use Development, Columbus, OH

Hish Street Frontage
Elm Court | High Street Perspective

Ultimately, our group sought to preserve Elm Street as a pedestrian thoroughfare.  This would preserve the historic brick pavement as well as the integrity of the current street grid, while creating the opportunity for the “Elm Entertainment District,” consisting of twelve restaurants, bars, theaters, venues, and storefronts with outdoor seating.  In this and other ways, this design sought to utilize and incorporate outdoor space as much as possible.  Rooftop patios and gardens at varying levels, as well as a number of balconies on Gay, High, Elm, and Long Streets would be incorporated to provide unique views.


Elm Court | Elm Entertainment District Aerial

The Elm Court development would include and indoor arcade to sever as a permanent, indoor home, for the Pearl Market as well as a general grocery.  The site would offer additional amenities including an indoor parking structure accessible off of Wall Street, near Gay Street.  commercial space on the first three-floors of both buildings, off Gay, High, and Long Streets.  Additionally, the upper floors would consist of market rate and affordable residential units, as well as a boutique hotel.


Elm Court | Long & High Street Perspective


Elm Court | Gay & High Street Perspective

Special detail would be left to incorporating symbolic representation of each historical theme identified, into the the steel work on railings, staircases, balconies, lanterns, and footbridges.  From aviation to government, these same themes would be reflected throughout both structures through reliefs, motifs, sculptures, mosaics, and murals that would depict scenes of events that capture the significant, unique, and diverse heritage of Columbus, Ohio.

Designing/Planning a Local Concept by Urban Avengers

While Columbus, Ohio has long been admired for its sense of community, distinct outer suburbs and downtown districts, we are particularly proud to unveil “On the Bricks” which is literally in the heart of downtown at High and Gay Streets.  High Street is currently and largely known for the Short North District which showcases block after block of fine eateries, popular pub houses and renowned art galleries and retail shops.  On the Bricks is just a few blocks away from the Short North and will focus largely on unique retail shops like those found in Chicago, New York City and other popular USA cities.



On the Bricks is inspired by the cobblestone streets of downtown Columbus and aspires to preserve the original, short brick cobblestone path that currently exists dividing the lots on High Street between Gay and Long Streets, the site of this new multi-living structure.



Columbus is well known for their historic cobblestone streets still in place today, and the design concept presented by Urban Avengers captures and honors that important part of local history and design.

Sketch 1

Bricks 1

Our design of a beautiful and unique, primarily brick 6-story structure housing some of the most hip and successful Urbanites in the country will maintain or, at the very least, incorporate the original bricks already in place on the Gay and High property.  Urban Avengers’ vision includes the current “bricks” being the central focus of a covered ground-level courtyard.

sketch 2

The concept of local design in Columbus, Ohio is as versatile as the city itself.  Columbus is the nucleus of several suburban neighborhoods that, while independent, still associate themselves with being from Columbus.  The city of Columbus has a reputation for diversity, friendliness, safety, cleanliness, and creating entrepreneurs.  Columbus is a hot spot where highly successful businesses have been born such as:

The Limited Brands (think Victoria’s Secret)         Wendy’s Restaurants

Jeni’s Ice Cream                                                            Cameron Mitchell Restaurants

Worthingon Industries                                                 Donato’s Pizza

White Castle Hamburgers                                            Max & Erma’s Restaurants

The citizens of Columbus have a great love for nature as is evident in the numerous metro parks throughout the city, and a rapidly growing trend of neighborhood community gardens to implement healthier food access to all generations and income levels.  Columbus has very distinct and diverse neighborhoods (such as Italian Village, the Short North District, German Village, Olde Towne East, Victorian Village, Franklinton, Bexley, Minerva Park, etc.) and is continually moving towards revitalization and improvements of these areas and more.

On the Bricks is a creation that combines all of these qualities of Columbus city-living, greenspace, urban shops and eateries and incorporates them into one legendary, mini-city location in the heart of downtown for a perfect balance of life, health, work and play.


The courtyard will feature beautiful hanging garden plants to capture our local agricultural essence and staying in spirit with the rooftop residential community garden and green space, giving the residents a communal feel of ownership and personalization.  We envision the first floor courtyard also featuring a breathtaking fountain and local artistic talents with sprawling seating for visitors and residents to leisurely enjoy this covered outdoor setting.  Each residence will include a private balcony for residents to enjoy the outdoors and scenic view of downtown Columbus.

sketch 3On the BricksOn the BricksOn the BricksOn the Bricks

Due to its soaring employment opportunities and successful creation of numerous entrepreneurs, Columbus is drawing national and international professionals to work, live and play here.  Columbus is a magnet for new talent as showcased by just being voted the “2015 Intelligent Community of the Year” by the Intelligent Community Forum, based on our relentless embrace and pursuit of new ideas.  As professionals from all over the world land in Columbus, they will want to live, eat and play in the heart of the excitement that Columbus brings to life and that means living in the heart of downtown!  Living in downtown Columbus has also become a bucket list item for many Columbus natives.  The central location and convenient access to all freeways makes it a hot home spot no matter where your office environment may be located.  Use of bicycling and public transportation in Columbus is on the rise and with the recent addition of the FREE “C-bus” throughout the downtown, Columbus is highly comparative to other large USA cities in this regard.

On the Bricks

On the Bricks brings to life the desire of many Columbus natives who crave the excitement and energy that accompanies shopping in the downtown atmosphere.  The mix of retail storefronts at On the Bricks will showcase both vintage favorites as well as new blends of shopping flavors.  As Columbus continues to soar as an urban stand-out known for our ever-growing variety of exquisite eateries and popular taverns and nightclubs, On the Bricks will feature an iconic rooftop bar which will be the new favorite spot to hit any night of the week.  On our proposed rendering “On the Bricks” is let out from the building overlapping the upper third floor and the rooftop green space so the name greets everyone and people know exactly what you mean when you say I live “On the Bricks!


The Diamond Developers Activity 3: Designing/Planning “Local” Development

The design that we chose for the new residential, commercial and office complex going in the lot bordered by Long Street, Gay Street and High Street captures several of the adjectives that the group feels is Columbus. Columbus is a city that is growing, and slowly becoming known simply for being Columbus.

The group felt that above all, the new complex needs to capture the environmentally friendly, green city that Columbus has become. For that reason, there are plant walls with flowers that will last through all Ohio weather, a courtyard in the middle, and gardens on different step-backs. Additionally, the carnation will be planted, representing the pride that Columbus has for itself, its state, and the people that live here.

The city is being renewed, while keeping with its authenticity and history. For that reason, the group wanted to include some of the older styles with brick and the decorative lining along the top of the buildings. However, included is also some newer concepts, such as large front windows to allow an openness of the retail stores to those passing by on the street.

Although it is a big city, the people living there would make one think otherwise. Being in the midwest, Columbus residents are very welcoming to anyone and everyone. This complex is at the entrance to downtown Columbus, so the group felt that while it will be several stories high, the building shouldn’t be overwhelming to those driving in. This prompted the idea to have the corners of the complex square be a few stories shorter, building up while adding step-backs. The residential area will be the farthest back from the street to give a sense of privacy to those living there.

Columbus is a historically diverse city, with its now popular Italian and German Villages that bring light to the cultures of other countries. These neighborhoods, among the several other that differ in style, inspired the group to make each building and side of the complex a little different, whether it be the height or building material.

The two block lot bound by High Street, Gay Street and Long Street should be taken advantage of, providing ample living and working space. The group designed each building in the complex to be at least eight stories high, with the pool on the roof. This way, more apartments or offices can be put in and the space isn’t wasted.

The group feels that with this design, the essence of Columbus was captured and implemented. It takes the best qualities of the city and emphasizes them, so that whether you’ve lived in the city your whole life or if you’re just visiting, you’ll look at Parkside on High and think, “Columbus.”


side view1

At the ground level the building will be brick to represent the history and authenticity of Columbus. As it rises, the stepbacks will change into a complimentary tan color to match surrounding buildings and break up the different portions of Parkside on High. Each stepback will have a green area for residents or office workers to enjoy. The green expresses Columbus’s environmentally friendly reform and will help break apart the stories in a memorable and symbolic way. On the corner of Long and High the complex’s height will be between 6-8 stories to make it seem more welcoming. Instead of just throwing 14 stories in one’s face at the entrance to downtown, seeing lower stories at first will make the building less overwhelming.


side view

This view, from the perspective of Gay St. shows the opening of this complex. The courtyard that forms a divide in the building allows for people in Columbus to walk and sit and eat and lounge. Columbus is a friendly city and allows people to slow down and talk to one another. The flowers planted here will be carnations, Ohio’s state flower, to show the pride Columbus has for itself and the state. The different levels of the building gives this complex variety and allows for it to stand out and not just be looked over.


top view

This is a top view of Parkside on High. This perspective shows how the courtyard will cut into the building, leaving it as a U shape. Gay St. has more restaurants, cafes, and stores so the opening will allow for people to sit in a gardenesque space and escape city life. The two pools on the roof, rather than on the 3rd floor allow for more stories to be used for office and residential.


The logo that the group came up with for Parkside on High