15 Jan Ohio Center Parking Garage / Schooley Caldwell
Ohio Center Parking Garage / Schooley Caldwell
Text description provided by the architects. The design of the Ohio Center Garage is a response to the historical roots of its location, a former railyard, and the Peter Eisenman-designed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC), which it serves. Located on a tight site behind the GCCC, the kinetic garage now performs like a piece of artwork welcoming everyone who approaches the expansive center from the back.
The design seeks to extend the language and feel of the convention center’s main concourse and to be reminiscent of the old railyard. Situated on a challenging site between the convention center and a viaduct leading into downtown, the garage needed to offer an effective architectural treatment that responds to the speed of the viaduct traffic, mitigates the difficult scale of the convention center, and brings a front door experience to the rear of the complex.
Working with artist Ned Kahn, a kinetic façade of overlapping free-flowing mesh panels was imagined. Kaynemaile, a polycarbonate mesh, provides a façade treatment that complements the existing building forms and materials, while also introducing an architectural element that could be considered part of the Convention Center’s extensive art collection. Kahn was an ideal partner, a unique blend of inspired aesthetic and practical tradesman.
His experience makes him keenly aware of the difficulties of designing large scale kinetic structures. Kahn was instrumental in shaping the vision for “Silver Lining,” the name for the three, 3,000-foot-long expanses of mesh curtain. Schooley Caldwell worked to make sure the artwork could be fabricated and installed to dovetail with an ambitious, compressed construction schedule. There was extensive back and forth collaboration with the structural engineer to adequately address the potential for atmospheric icing.
Also, local steel fabricators collaborated closely with, Kahn, New Zealand based Kaynemaile, and the construction manager on installation. Rigging was also given careful consideration. The results exceed expectations. The building skin is dynamic; catching the light on bright days and moving in graceful waves as the mesh catches even a slight breeze. The effect is mesmerizing. Ned Kahn’s inspiration was tremendous and, like much of his work, connects us with the natural forces that over time we’ve grown to ignore. “Silver Lining” lets us experience a simple breeze with unique joy.