Central Ohio Technical College, Howard E LeFevre Hall, Newark, Ohio
The design part was derived from the building’s environmental context as well as the dichotomy of combining both technical and arts education.
The building echoes the topographical changes as it rises from a one-storey building height on the west to a two-storey height on the east. The eastern volume is crowned by an arched roof directly relating to the silhouetted hills surrounding the site.
Building Design & Construction
Other design decisions were based on both contrasting and blending the arts and technology. Contrast appears in the plan where the multi-storied concourse cuts programmatically through the building mass that was developed solely for its sensuous nature. The curved glass wall in the lobby/gallery seems arbitrarily placed in the plan.
The blending is expressed in the wall-mounted mechanical louvres (technology) which are treated as two-dimensional art by casting away from the wall at the top, much the way a painting hangs away from the wall. The exterior cantilevered support truss, at the entrance to the lobby/gallery, embodies both technology and sculpture.
This blending and contrasting have also been carried through to the detail and materials. For example, end-grained wood, revered by artists and dancers but also found in industrial plants because of its loading capabilities and durability, is used for the flooring. The building exterior is composed of both rough concrete masonry units with brick protrusions and smooth, metallic wall panels.
NBBJ worked directly with this technical college to provide architectural services for this new classroom building. As the new focal point of the campus, the 53,000 square foot facility contains a mechanical technology/electronics lab; comprehensive integrated manufacturing lab; microcomputer lab; telecommunications technology lab; art, theater, and music labs; and classrooms for drafting, CAD, and secretarial science. Also included are a lobby, faculty offices, and administrative offices.
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