The J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Competition honors two great patrons of architecture, art, and design by furthering their mission to make Columbus the best community of its size. Ten finalists participated in the 2016 symposium and presented proposals for temporary installations that respond to iconic sites on Fifth Street. Five prize-winning designs were selected by the jury to transform the cityscape and spark new conversations about Columbus’ design heritage during the exhibition.
Another Circle by Aranda\Lasch at Mill Race Park
Presenting sponsor: Upland Brewing Company
Anything can happen in the woods by Plan B Architecture & Urbanism at Cummins Corporate Office Building
Presenting sponsor: Cummins Inc.
Conversation Plinth by IKD at Cleo Rogers Memorial Library
Presenting sponsor: Elwood Staffing
The Exchange by Oyler Wu Collaborative at Irwin Conference Center
Wiikiaami by studio:indigenous at First Christian Church
Presenting sponsor: Haddad Foundation
Another Circle by Aranda\Lasch responds to the strong formal and architectural elements already present in Mill Race Park, tying together the round lake, the People Trail, and the river with a new 3.5-acre stone circle composed of 1,100 pieces of salvaged Indiana limestone. While the design hearkens back to ancient henges and modern earthworks, its primary goal is to articulate fields of activity for contemporary park visitors. Within the circle, stones are placed, stacked, or arrayed to create a theater and areas for discussion, games, and relaxation: a loose gathering of function inside a scattering of stone.
Plan B Architecture & Urbanism
Plan B imagines the columns of the Cummins Corporate Office Building’s leafy pergola multiplying to form a kind of urban forest, titled Anything can happen in the woods. The new columns are mirrored as a nod to Roche Dinkeloo’s aesthetic and to reflect their surroundings: green hedges, the busy street, and the Post Office opposite, another Roche Dinkeloo design. One could note, landscape forms — grass-covered mounds that serve as places of relaxation, contemplation, and conversation — punctuate the mirrored woodland, enticing viewers to explore and inhabit a space that is usually passed through or passed by.
An architectural design firm led by Yugon Kim and Tomomi Itakura that explores the intersection of art and architecture, material and making. IKD's philosophy and process are informed by respect for the technical, physical, and economic demands of bringing life to a project. IKD was awarded the CORE77 Built Environment Award, as well as an honorable mention in Architect magazine’s 2016 R+D awards. IKD recently completed Timber City, a traveling exhibition for the National Building Museum that advocates for a return to timber construction in our urban cores.
Oyler Wu Collaborative
Oyler Wu Collaborative’s research into architect Eero Saarinen’s oeuvre leads them to focus on three key concepts in their design of The Exchange: Euclidean geometries, solid/void relationships, and tectonics. Their design fabricates a new space within the site by completing the geometries implied by three canopies, legacies of the Irwin Conference Center’s history as a drive-up bank. A rectilinear space, defined by existing solid canopies and completed by new walls of welded steel — some solid, some sketched in lines or carved away into voids — is enlivened by sophisticated tectonic interplay with embedded objects derived from Oyler Wu’s particular idiom. The resulting complex of canopies, walls, and benches produce new areas of containment and new points of destination.
Inspired by the dwellings of the Myaamia people indigenous to Indiana, studio:indigenous adorns a walkway leading to First Christian Church with a contemporary “wigwam” — wiikiaami in the Myaamia language — constructed of rebar and weathered metal panels. The swooping conical form is aligned both to the church’s iconic campanile and to mark the autumnal equinox. The metal panels appear to be equally reminiscent of eagle feathers and textile designs, are perforated and folded to make shifting patterns of sunlight and shade, creating a space for gathering as well as a gateway to Saarinen’s church.