OBM Headquarters Expansion
COLUMBUS, OHIO / 2020
The Maze RoofThis advertising headquarters expansion for Orange Barrel Media creates a striking new silhouette in the city. Its sawtooth roof and massing trigger memories of an industrial aesthetic without literally echoing local buildings. Rather than a known, repetitive sawtooth roof, this sawtooth bends into maze-like figures. The mass is glance-cut at oblique angles, shearing this maze-like roof off and creating huge picture windows that look back at the city.
DockingThe mass floats, docking with the existing building rather than fusing with it or remaining separate. As when one spacecraft docks with another, the connection appears temporary -- almost precarious. Two very large objects -- the existing building tall and monolithic, the new one low and ridged -- meet at a small point of connection. The effect is a general outline of two separate objects that appear from many vantage points as a new, third object.
Thickened Floor and HelixesUnlike many creative office spaces, the floor of this project is thick. In conventional offices, the floor is a single plane and enclosed spaces are defined by vertical subdivisions (walls). These walls are weak divisions. The thickened floor contains all enclosed spaces; it is a strong spatial division. Office life here no longer consists of moving horizontally through thin walls and little doors, but vertically, from vast open space to poche in the floor and back again. Helix stairs stretch from the thickened floor up to roof gardens, creating lively, incongruent figures in the open space. Small punched windows provide daylight to the offices inside the thickened floor, unlike the huge picture windows associated with the open spaces above. Massive scale difference between the two creates doubt as to the scale of the building’s inhabitants.
PatchinessA pattern of contrasting figures breaks down the maze-like roof into a patchwork of independent objects. Three types of material --ranging from silver chrome to gold chrome to glossy black (solar photovoltaics) -- are deployed one over another, like overmolding in toy fabrication, to produce graphic outlines that exaggerate or alter underlying mass features. North-facing skylights are shrouded with perforated panels, obscuring their diagrammatic function.
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Site Area: 82,700 SF
New Floor Area: 75,000 SF
Program: Creative Office Space / Adaptive reuse
Client: Orange Barrel Media