Ohio Center of Science and Industry
1994 - 1999
Site Area: 7,200 sqmBuilding Area: 14,957 sqmTotal Floor Area: 29,795 sqm
Official Web Site
Columbus, Ohio, is located on the east side of the meandering Scioto River. Its central district, filled with medium- and high-rise buildings, is laid out in a checkerboard pattern common to most cities in the United States and referred to as a "Jefferson grid." The so-called peninsula area across the river from the central district was the proposed site of Center of Science & Industry (COSI).
COSI is a new type of social institution dedicated to scientific education that places greater emphasis on education and entertainment than an ordinary science museum. One of the most popular facilities of its kind in the United States, it was designed to accommodate several thousand children at a time.
The building is across the river from the downtown area of Columbus. It therefore has two faces. Its east side -the old high-school facade- looks toward the downtown area. Its west side -the newly-created facade of the project- looks toward the great Midwestern plains, which stretch into the distance. To the east lies the old (Western) civilization, and to the west lies the new (pioneer) civilization. The east side of COSI is an old facade in the Beaux-Arts style, and the west side is a more dynamic formal composition.
The plan features a long circulation spine running north-south, parallel to the Jefferson grid. This straight corridor orientates people within the large facility and facilitates movement from one point to another.The west facade is composed of large precast concrete panels with a clothoidal curved section. The plan is an incomplete elongated ellipse. There are no windows, the exhibition spaces being provided with artificial lighting.
The central portion of the project is somewhat complex. A cylindrical space theater, a cubical IMAX theater and a twisted cubical atrium are separated by skylight areas. Parties, banquets and other social events will take place there.