Bernard Tschumi, Architect
University of Cincinnati Campus, Cincinnati OH
Visited September 1, 2013
Initially I wanted to say that this building was wedged in an impossibly tight site between the Nippert football stadium and the Fifth Third Arena (and over the arena’s loading dock). Although factual, it does not feel that way when walking around the building. Tschumi’s curved facade slides in and around the confined space with ease and does not feel compromised.
The triangular gridded mass is lifted lightly by occasional continuations of the triangular structural system that go to grade, providing an open arcade of sorts for pedestrian circulation. The triangular fenestration is actually the negative space left between the structural grid – not punched openings in a wall.
I was not able to go into the building on this trip to take photos, but on previous visits I was able to ascend the grand stairway that goes up through the center of the building. True to Tschumi’s emphasis on Space, Event and Movement, this building captures all three – you will just have to wait for the interior photos to appreciate the experience of the grand stairway…or better yet, go visit it yourself. The University of Cincinnati has an impressive collection of buildings by the Starchitects. Works by Graves, Gehry, Eisenman, Cobb, and Mayne are all within walking distance (Click here for a list of the notable buildings on campus and their designers).
Michael Graves, Architect
University of Cincinnati Campus
Last Visited August 28, 2011
The Engineering Research Center is another good Graves building. It if full of his earthy colors and chunky columns and simple building block shapes. The long building facade is broken up into a series of seemingly individual pavillions all in a row. The main section is twice as wide as the others and is more formal looking with the tall colonnade at the entry level and two rows of short fat columns at the top. This wide pavillion is flanked by several tall narrower pavillions, two on the south side and one on the north side. These boxy bodies with barrel vaulted shoulders, and blocky heads look like old school robots with party hats. Not my favorite Graves Building, but it has a strong presence on campus and is interesting. Next trip I hope I have than just a few minutes and I can walk all the way around and get inside and explore it more.
Frank Gehry, Architect
University of Cncinnati
3125 Eden Avenue, Cincinnati OH 45267
Visited August 27, 2011
Gehry’s first “all brick” building stands as a sculpture on the University of Cincinnati’s campus. It is an interesting assembly of forms with windows applied in various shapes floating or rotated out from the brick skin. From a fountain and lawn on the west side of the building, there is a grand brick stair as wide as the facade leading up to the building. At the top of the stairway, where you would expect a grand entrance, is a brick wall with a wide window above the top landing with no door. You have to contunue around the building wing to get to a doorway. The grand stairway forms more of a pedestal for a sculpture, not a grand entry for a building. It is an interseting work of art.