We felt that downtown Columbus lacked a strong urban quality and the context of our site did little to contribute. With fast paced circulation on 3rd and 4th Streets plus an abundance of garage and surface parking surrounding the block, the site has very little sense of place. It is a site more about passing through on the way to somewhere else than about being a place itself.
Our project began with a desire to create a removed urban environment within the site. We felt that we could achieve the urban quality and new removed place we sought to create through a palazzo scheme. We arranged the scheme with retail, commercial, and grocery program as the base of the palazzo with a band of residential slabs around the core for added verticality to attain the urban quality.
The closed palazzo configuration went through a series of fracturing operations to produce a hidden openness within the core. The fracturing relates to circulation routes on the ground floor, context and program on the second, and residential views in the slabs above.