Scott Laboratory

by Vincent Kampel

The Peter L. and Clara M. Scott Laboratory is home to The Ohio State University’s departments of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering. Located on North Campus, its site is defined by 19th Avenue to its north, 18th Avenue to its south, Macgruder Avenue to its east, and the Journalism building to its west. Scott Lab is comprised of three wings, North, East, and West, with a central grass courtyard and also includes a multi-ramped skyway connecting the East and West wings. The facility stands five stories high with a basement and contains classrooms, administrative offices, and a wide array of laboratories and machine shops.

Professional Scott Laboratory, School of Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University


Completed in 2006, Scott Lab was designed by BHDP Architecture and constructed by Ruscilli Construction. Both contributors were specifically selected by the university and also have multiple standing projects on Ohio State’s campus. Replacing the existing Robinson Laboratories, Scott Lab’s 240,000 square foot construction project required intensive detailed planning and execution to meet the challenges present. Multiple accommodations were needed to reroute pedestrian and vehicular traffic and relocate classes during Robinson’s multi-phase demolition process to ensure that the transition from old to new was made as seamlessly as possible. Regular review sessions were held during its design and construction process to ensure that once completed, its ample space could be used and implemented as effectively as possible. Ultimately, Scott Lab stands as both a distinctive work of architecture on North Campus and (anecdotally) very popular among its many frequent visitors.

The original vision for Scott Lab, formed collaboratively between BHDP, university planners, and future occupants of the building, dictated much of the existing architecture of the building to this day. From the beginning, Scott Lab was intended to cater to the needs of the students and faculty who would use it most, while simultaneously accommodating the current needs of the departments and including enough flexibility within its structures to ensure the facility could adapt to new capabilities during its lifetime to ensure its longevity and sustainability. Its chosen materials both externally (brick, aluminum, and glass) and internally (concrete, metals, and glass) represent sustainable materials that have both long lifetimes and little required maintenance. Also notably sustainable is its strong presence of natural light. The utility of the glass exterior along with its many windows allow for much of the building to be lit naturally; even the underground basement is provided with light by angled ground level windows.scott_back

Architecturally, Scott Lab’s many elements are primarily utilitarian (fitting for its engineering-minded inhabitants), but also maintain its design integrity. Most notable among its features are its multitude of exterior materials. Along the outer exterior of the building, it features the same brick aesthetic found widely on North Campus. The inner exterior (as seen from the courtyard), however, features a seamed aluminum siding with a notable glass presence, especially contained in the skyway. This use of materials is much more consistent with the building’s interior space, which adheres to an industrial and mechanical aesthetic. Also, the U-shape of the building allows a nice courtyard space for visitors to use and enables an efficient flow of pedestrian traffic.





“OSU Scott Laboratory”.<>

“Scott Laboratory”. <>

Batelle Darby Creek Metro Park Nature Center

by Vincent Kampel

Battelle Darby Nature Center is a visitors’ center found in the heart of Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. The park, located in western Franklin county along 13 miles of the Big Darby and Little Darby Creeks, is comprised of over 7,000 acres of wetland, prairie, and forest ecosystems, making it the largest of the Metro Parks. The building is located within native Ohio prairie lands and overlooks the park’s enclosure of roaming bison, which have been reintroduced to the area, to the south. The Nature Center’s purpose is to serve the park’s visitors with an educational and interactive resource to learn about and experience the park’s ecosystems first hand, aiming to engage the visitors with the vast collection of natural settings within the park.

The project, undertaken by DesignGroup, was completed in 2012 and features Ohio State’s own professor William Keoni Fleming as principal architect and sustainability manager with Michael Bongiorno as designer. The two-story building exhibits 14,000 square feet of educational and interpretive attractions for its visitors, including a 53 foot long “living stream” at its center which models the park’s river and creek ecosystems.

The primary focus of the building was its sustainability efforts. The design team’s challenge was to find the most effective way to place a building in the midst of a delicate natural location. As a result, the design team strived to create a design for the building that reduced its own impact physically, environmentally, and visually. One strong indication of these efforts is the building’s exterior appearance.

The nature center is built into a hill and recedes into the landscape, so when approached from the north, only the roof of its porch and the main lobby are visible. The intention of this approached perspective was to emphasize the visitors’ focus on the natural surrounding landscape rather than the building itself; the porch itself uses this perspective to frame the bison enclosure and natural horizon beyond the building. While only one story is visible from the north when fully approached, the full expanse of the two-story building can be seen from the south.


However, the building goes far beyond justblending into the landscape to reduce its environmental impact. One major feature of the building is its roof garden, or green roof, comprised entirely of native vegetation; as testament to the building’s efforts, local birds have been found to nest atop the roof. The roof, along with the parking lot, also enables rainwater runoff to a series of contained wetlands which have been planted with more native vegetation. The green roof exhibits an effective way to reduce the building’s impact both environmentally and visually.


Further, the building features multiple technical and design measures to ensure its sustainability. The building’s layout and orientation enables it to benefit from passive solar energy gain, which means it naturally receives more direct sunlight in the winter to warm the building and more shading in the summer to help keep it cool. Geothermal ground-source heat pumps add to the building’s resume of sustainability. Operable windows for ventilation and a

highly-insulated building envelope also contribute to the sustainable climate control of the building, which all in all is estimated to use only half of the energy of a conventional building of its utility and size. As a culmination of its efforts, the Nature Center is pursuing a LEED silver certification.





Sources: “Batelle Darby Metro Park Nature Center/Design Group”. <>

Leveque Tower Explore Columbus AU16

By: Sam Richards


The skyline of any city is a major symbol for not only what the city represents but also for the people that inhabit the area. One of the major highlights in the Columbus skyline is the Lincoln Leveque Tower. This 555 foot 6-inch tower (Tebben 1) opened in 1927 under the name American Insurance Union (AIU) Citadel and grew to become one of the city’s most notable features.


Located on the north-east corner of Broad Street and Front Street, the Leveque tower represents the stance of Columbus growing from a region known for its farmland to a major United States city in the Midwest. The designer of this building was C. Howard Crane. Crane focused on the exterior façade to be built of white terra-cotta blocks which are complemented by large and detailed terra-cotta statues shaped into figures such as eagles and angles throughout the entire facade. (Rose 1). These statues range from the bottom level to the top edges of the structure. The statues near the top of the building were later removed due to structural and safety concerns.

The American Insurance Union came under fire in the era of the Great Depression and as a result to the groups economic crash the structure was foreclosed upon. The result of the foreclosure led to building being bought by Columbus Developers Leslie Leveque and John Lincoln in 1945, who partnered up and focused on restoring the structure to its former glory (Tebben 1). The two focused on revitalizing the tower and using its space as a core to the city and its infrastructure.

The Leveque tower is also well known for being the home to one of the Columbus’ hallmark classic areas within the city, the Palace Theatre. Located in the northeast corner of the structure and is operated by the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA). This association utilizes this space to put on major shows and events that create a unique gathering space amongst the city and its residents.

Today tower stands as a strong representation to the character of Columbus and the people of this great city. In recent years, the tower has begun to have the need for major inspections and has shown signs for need of major repairs. As a result of these inspections, there has been found the need for some of the more notable features on the exterior to become removed. This includes the famous statues that sat atop the tower near its peak. These marvelous statues have been replaced by major lights that illuminate the tower and add a new sense of character with their ability to change color for different occasions (Tebben 1).

The tower is currently undergoing major renovations to the interior of the building. The interior is being adjusted to encompass new amounts of economic infrastructure within the downtown area of the city. This infrastructure will include new office spaces, retail, and a luxury hotel. These new functions will serve the city and its people in new ways and will again solidify the idea of the Leveque tower as being one of the most important structures to the city of Columbus.

Works Cited

Rose, Marla Matzer. “LeVeque Tower Showing Fruits of $27 Million Restoration.” The Columbus Dispatch. The Columbus Dispatch, 27 Aug. 2016. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.

Tebben, Gerald. “Columbus Mileposts: Sept. 23, 1924 | LeVeque Tower Begins as AIU Citadel.” The Columbus Dispatch. FOR THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 22 Sept. 2012. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.

The Ohio State University’s Page Hall

By: Sam Richards


The most distinguishing aspect to any place of education, especially that of a major state university, is the aspect of how a building relates to those it serves. Page Hall of the Ohio State University is a strong advocate for this connection to the people of the university and community that it serves, Page Hall is located on the South Eastern corner of the Oval on College Road and houses classes related to many majors and general education classes, but largely houses and functions for the needs of those in the John Glenn Institute and the School of Public Policy and Management.


Built in 1903, the building is well known for its famous architectural significant exterior façade. Page Hall was the ninth building constructed on Ohio State’s campus and originally housed the university’s college of Law. The building was named after Henry Folsom Page, a famous Ohio Attorney that gave a large donation to the university to complete the building ( Nihiser 1). The façade is decorated will large sense of precedents related to classical architecture. This idea is resembled in the large focus on columns and a grand porch that faces the oval and resembles as the most notable feature of the building.

In 1959 the university decided to move the law school out of Page Hall and various functions took place in the building until the university focused on the area to be used for the now home of the John Glenn Institute in 2004. The focus of this space has become a major highlight to the university as the space provides a unique experience between the design and those who interact with it and provokes a sense of a unique learning space.


The building went under major renovations in 2004 where the University created a campus wide focus on revitalizing the major architectural markers on campus and giving them new focus and attention. The university focused on Page Hall by re-designing its major entryway façade by creating new ramps and ways of entry without destroying the architectural significance the connection to classical architecture provides.

This major landmark in architecture on campus provides a unique connection to the people it serves at this university while also focusing on its design of being a place of architectural significance and a place of learning on the campus. This piece is very important to the university as a whole and will continue to be for decades to come.

Works Cited

Nihiser, Wes. “Page Hall.” The Lantern. Ohio State University Journalism, 18 Feb. 2007. Web. 20 Nov. 2016. <>.

Columbus Metropolitan Library, Main Branch

By Ian Meadows

Located in the heart of the Discovery District, the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library makes quite an impressive statement architecturally and functionally. It recently went through a complete renovation to allow it to better meet the needs of an increasingly technologically advanced and progressive society. While the grand front façade and ornate interior marble remained after the renovation, the building was given a new life. It is now filled with large open spaces, contemporary design elements such as the use of glass and floating staircases, and an abundance of natural light. Simply walking up to and then inside of the library evokes amazement and curiosity.

Picture 1: The west exterior (considered to be the front of the library).

Picture 1: The west exterior (considered to be the front of the library).

Figure 1: The library (red) in relation to its surroundings such as nearby roads, the Ohio Statehouse, and Topiary Park.

Figure 1: The library (red) in relation to its surroundings such as nearby roads, the Ohio Statehouse, and Topiary Park.

The entire building gives off a sense of advancement, education, and wonder. The renovation was able to successfully maintain its historical significance while ensuring it can be projected into the current society and beyond. As previously discussed with Knowlton Hall, one of the best elements is the seamless flow from space to space. The expansive atrium on the main level provides for an excellent area to congregate and admire the beautiful interior space. However, while there are a few seats, there is a shortage of functional space considering how much area this atrium occupies. If there is any critique of the library, it would be the underdeveloped atrium, since so many more comfortable seating areas could be set up instead of a vast floor devoid of places to sit and enjoy the space to its true potential. This does not in any way though detract from the beauty and quality of the library, since the rest of the building goes above and beyond both visual and educational needs for the community. The vastness of the atrium may even be viewed as an asset, placing focus on the versatile and ambiguous design of the exceptional space.

Picture 2: The spacious, open atrium.

Picture 2: The spacious, open atrium.


Figure 3: The atrium is a figural void that creates a distinctive architectural character of the interior.

Moving on from the atrium yet still focusing on the inclusion of large, bright spaces is a massive reading room on the second level. Here there is an abundance of tables and chairs, and walls of windows let plentiful light stream in. An inviting, peaceful atmosphere conducive to learning, studying, and reading is achieved. Thanks to these bright, open spaces in the library, its renovation has created many more functional and enjoyable spaces throughout the entire building.

Picture 3: Large windows and expansive space give reading rooms like this one a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere.

Picture 3: Large windows and expansive space give reading rooms like this one a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere.

The building continues to exhibit exceptional flow through its rear entrance. A coffee shop entices visitors to stop by and relax and then to proceed outside to enjoy the library’s pleasant garden patio. Just behind this is Columbus’ Topiary Park. There is a very effective connection between the library and its surroundings, including this park and the rest of the Discovery District. It is very well thought out, creating an easy and intriguing way to progress from inside the library to the exterior, especially in this case of the Topiary Park. In result, more people are able to enjoy this other Columbus feature that might not have previously done so. Architecture firm Schooley-Caldwell states on a page of their website that one of the goals for the library’s renovation project is to “better connect the library with the adjacent Topiary Park and with the Discovery District as a whole” (“Columbus Metropolitan Library: Main Library Renovation”). The interior of the library is very important, but just as much attention was paid to the exterior and how to connect it with its surroundings. The library could even be used as a catalyst to spark further development and enhancement around other areas of the district.

Figure 4: 2 main entry and exit points disperse circulation into the rest of the building.

Figure 4: Two main entry and exit points disperse circulation into the rest of the building as well as outside, either in the front or back.


Figure 5: There is a direct flow and connection between the library’s rear patio and the Topiary Park.

Not just a space to enter, quickly find a book, and leave again, the renovated Main Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library entices visitors to stay and relax for a while in one of many grand, comfortable lounge areas. There are even study rooms and a children’s section to cater to all needs and interests. Not only is the library architecturally stunning, but its functionality is second to none. It is both a progressive building and an institution that will ensure the future of learning and reading will be in good hands, and all inside an equally innovative physical structure.


“Columbus Metropolitan Library: Main Library Renovation.” Schooley Caldwell Architects. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.

Knowlton Hall

By Ian Meadows

Standing out from its surrounding brick buildings, the massive gray structure of Knowlton Hall makes an impressive statement to both onlookers and those who enter inside. Its prime location at a main gateway in and out of campus and its proximity to Ohio Stadium result in many people interacting with the structure, whether or not they actually go inside. By being located on the first main academic corner visible when traveling east down Woodruff Avenue, many people see this highly visible structure. Its unique and innovative architecture results in a highly captivating, intriguing space. There is much thought put into design elements to create the successful institution it is today.

Looking from the southeast toward Knowlton's main entrance.

Picture 1: Looking from the southeast toward Knowlton’s main entrance.


Figure 1: The site relationship of Knowlton Hall (red) in terms of its placement with regard to several adjacent roads and Ohio Stadium.

The very essence of the building can be related to a blank slate, as if to encourage students to transform white paper into the architectural marvels of tomorrow. The neutral colors, use of specific materiality like concrete and marble, and basic geometrical shapes used in elements such as columns, the oculus, and rectangular volumes allow for architectural intrigue while symbolizing the school’s intent of providing a place for basic blocks of learning to be obtained. These elements further represent the education for students to build upon their ideas and progress from concepts to masterpieces.

Upon entering inside, it is important to note the significant details that make it clear that this is quite the opposite of a dull and lackluster building. Exposed pipes and metal elements such as handrails and window framework provide a modern urban-industrial aesthetic, ensuring that there is nothing bland about the space. The series of ramps that lead up to the hierarchical roof garden creates an axis to asymmetrically divide the building, as well as allowing for innovative yet functional circulation throughout the floors, classrooms, and studios. This streamlined way of moving people throughout the building contrasts with the ambiguity that other aspects of the space exude.

Picture 2: A look into the open, modern studio space.

Picture 2: A look into the open, modern studio space.

Figure 4: The hierarchical roof garden featuring a large concrete oculus.

Figure 5: The hierarchical roof garden featuring a large concrete oculus.

Rather than confined, private studio spaces, there are large open rooms that lead directly from one to the next. This creates a sense of freedom, just like how students are intended to be able to think outside the box without restriction to express their ideas and to work in a vibrant group environment. Large spaces allow for easy movement, discussions, and desk placement all catering to specific needs. Flexible, multipurpose definition of space and function is most prevalent at the big steps toward the main entrance of the building. While this feature is most often used as a hub for students to sit on the steps and study, it can serve many other purposes depending on various needs of classes, presentations, or other events.

Picture 3: The Big Steps can serve many functions and is a prime gathering spot within the building.

Picture 3: The Big Steps can serve many functions and is a prime gathering spot within the building.

The steps can also simulate the seats of a lecture hall, allowing for presentations to take place. In addition, they can be ideal meeting places for certain classes, and the large open space in front of them can even be perfectly suitable for studio reviews. This incredibly highly functional and versatile space ingeniously demonstrates the high level of thought and design that went into Knowlton. Furthermore, five classical columns of different orders, located in an exterior figural void on the west side of the building, ensure students gain appreciation and knowledge from the past. Matt Williams, contributor to Glass Case of Emotion, adds that Knowlton Hall is “a temple of architectural training…a textbook with a front door” (Williams, “Weekly Response #3: Knowlton Hall”). Students must gain full understanding of concepts and history in order to progress into the modern world, and Knowlton achieves this not only academically, but in the way the building is physically designed. It combines the past with the future and allows for creativity of the highest level due to its own innovative, progressive nature.

Picture 5: The classical columns give reference to the history of architecture.

Picture 5: The classical columns give reference to the history of architecture.


Williams, Matt. “Weekly Response #3: Knowlton Hall.” Glass Case of Emotion. N.p., 02 Oct. 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.