Experiencing Great Architecture and Creative Built Environments

Posts tagged “Ohio Architecture

Wolfe Center for the Arts (2011)

Snohetta, Architects  Oslo Norway

On the Campus of Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green OH

Aerial view and directions

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Photos taken March 15 & 19, 2012

Snohetta’s project webpage

With projects in locations such as London, Paris, Marseille, New York, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Cairo, Oslo and Berlin, – Snohetta’s latest completed building is in Bowling Green, Ohio.

This wedge building forms a grand lawn “ramp” up the east end of the building. The wedge is emphasized on the side walls with the siding panel grid and windows oriented on the angle. The main entry is on the west entry under the deep second floor overhang. Inside the lobby is a grand staircase which doubles as a seating/studying area.

I have been watching this building under construction, stopping several times to check up on the progress. To be honest, I was a little disappointed in the finished building…but cannot pinpoint exactly why. The concept is intriguing, the renderings were beautiful, the shape under construction was bold….as I was walking up to the completed building it just didn’t seem exceptional. Yes, it is an unusual building with a large bold wedge shape – but after that –  it just feels like a regular rectangular college building, fit into a wedge shaped shell.

When I visited the building at the beginning of my roadtrip, it had just started raining, and was gloomy. So on the return trip, I stopped by again on a sunnier afternoon to “give it a second chance”…and it just felt the same to me. I wanted to be thrilled by it….perhaps I need to attend a performance in the auditorium.

I really want to like it…

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Oberlin Conservatory of Music (1963)

Minoru Yamasaki, Architect

39 West College Street  Oberlin, OH

on the campus of the Oberlin College and Conservatory

Aerial View and Map

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Visited June 2, 2011

Minoru Yamasaki, the famed architect that is probably best known for designing the World Trade Center twin towers, designed this cluster of 3 buildings for Oberlin in 1963. His buildings at Wayne State University in Detroit are more successful, but have posted these for reference.


Akron Museum of Art Knight Building Addition (2007)

Coop Himmelb(l)au, Architect

One South High, Akron, OH 44308

Map and Aerial View

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Visited May 31-June 1, 2011

The Knight Building Addition was the focus of my last roadtrip, and it did not disappoint. I had seen a few photographs on line and wanted to experience it for myself.

The dynamic composition is composed of 3 main elements- the angled glass entry “Crystal”, the cantilevered roof “Clouds”, and the rectangular “Gallery Box”. All of this is placed in the 1899 original Museum Building’s back yard. The link to the original building is a main level glass connection in the middle of the rear facade, the top of which aligns with an existing stone sill band. The angled glass framework of the “Crystal” has a chevron shaped edge which keeps its distance around the eave of the original building.

Driving up the hill on Market Street, one of the  cantilevered “Clouds” dramatically hovers over the original museum- in fact beyond the building, over the sidewalk and a portion of the street to announce the presence of the addition behind.

What I was curious about was how were the galleries handled in the addition. Was this attention-getting concoction just a folly? Was is designed to showcase and display Akron’s artwork treasures, or just to display itself and promote Coop Himelb(l)au? I am pleased to report that the galleries displayed a pretty impressive collection of artwork very well indeed. The architect’s flair for the dramatic stopped at the tall glass gallery doors, and once inside the artwork was the star. After wandering by Warhol’s Single Elvis and Brillo Boxes; and Chuck Close’s Linda,  I ventured into the M.C. Escher temporary exhibit. I was impressed with the incredible detail in Escher’s original lithographs and wood cuts, which is lost in the ubiquitous monographs on the sale shelf at the Border’s and Barnes & Noble stores. I clearly remembered the artwork.  The gallery did what a gallery should do – displayed the artwork. Well Done.