An art and design school acquired this derelict automobile dealership and service garage with the intent of establishing an environment that would foster interdisciplinary cooperation for a diverse group of studios and departments. The location provided a public presence for the school on Broad Street, one of the principal streets in downtown Columbus. The raw character of the cast-in-place concrete, brick, and steel construction provided an ideal “canvas” for the design school.
The design solution is an exercise in “found” architecture: selectively removing structure to reveal dynamic spatial relationships and create pathways. By adding bridges and stairs through new openings, the numerous changes in elevation between sections of the building are exploited to create lively pathways through the studio and classroom spaces. The existing three-story automobile ramp is used as the unifying element in the space: it is used as a path, revealed through glass, and traversed by bridge at various places within the structure.