Westlake Reed Leskosky, Architects
44 West College Street Oberlin, OH 44074
on the campus of Oberlin College & Conservatory
Aerial View and Map ( the aerial view was taken prior to the construction of the building)
Visited June 2, 2011
The Bertram and Judith Kohl Building is the College’s home to the jazz, music history and theory programs. It sits in the back corner of a parking lot, behind a block of Main street storefronts. I happened upon the building by accident, and what a happy accident it was. The LEED building is a sculpture of metal panels with a syncopation of windows on the east facade. On the west side there is a 3rd floor skybridge which takes a jog before the glass clad tube truss crosses the sidewalk below and connects to Yamasaki’s 1963 Conservatory Building.
What appeared to be a grand opportunity, there is a grand stairway up the side of the building to what promised to be a grand rooftop garden. What a disappointment the rooftop garden was. It was a small area, mostly hard surface, with planters around the perimeter. The parapet wall is too tall to get a view from the center of the deck, and the planters prevents anyone from getting close enough to look over the parapet for a view. Perhaps a nod to the Fontainebleau Hotel’s “Staircase to Nowhere”? Once you climb the stairs to the third floor, the only thing to do is to come back down. (to be fair, I think there is a cafe inside adjacent to the deck, but it was closed the day I climbed the stairs).
For more information on the Kohl Building, check out these links: