The City of Bexley is charming, historic, and landlocked. Faced with no opportunities to grow out – the city is forced to look for ways to maximize every opportunity to redevelop. The old City Hall building had two things working against it. One, it sat on prime Main Street real estate. And two, built in the 1950’s it was aggressively ADA inaccessible.
Those issues in mind the City made the enlightened decision to relocate their offices and redevelop the site of the previous city hall (now a two story grocery store).
The new city hall is located at the rear of a strip center adjacent to the previous building. Just off Main Street, the space was marginal, at best, for retail. But for this civic function the space has proved to be ideal.
Project goals included creating a separate identity for the building while still acknowledging its context. It was also a stated goal to develop the design from the perspective of the building’s visitors whether for a civic function, or arriving to pay a water bill (or parking ticket). User friendly was the mantra.
The project emphasized openness and flexibility - ultimately cutting in half the total number of square feet required to accommodate the functional needs. The workings of government are visible through the windows of the building – with prominent views provided in to council chambers as well as the large conference room. Careful zoning of the building allows it to function during off hours as a venue for various community meetings.
Way finding for this project was developed by Designpath / Ben Goodman.
Photos by Matt Carbone.
50-2 Brickel is an urban transformation project designed by GRA+D's Joe Moss while he was with Lincoln Street Studio.
A client of ours had purchased a deteriorated concrete block service garage that was a macabre collection of dead mice, dead cars, and legends of a dead employee found in the back. She wanted to revive it as a pair of urban townhomes.
The existing building was a challenge for sure but the location was ideal. The 40’ x 80’ site is off the main drag, but very close to the epicenter of city life in Columbus’ Short North neighborhood. The project also supports other recent improvements that are transforming a previously ignored alley to become a neighborhood path that’s friendlier to foot traffic than automobiles.
By splitting the site lengthwise and layering functions up three floors, the two homes take advantage of a number of amenities. The primary living areas are placed on the upper level with a simple roof structure tilted upward toward the street to bring views and daylight deep into the space. The living room opens onto semi-private outdoor garden / terraces – an uncommon amenity afforded by the placement of the garage blocks below. Suspended from the roof structure and steel moment frame, a mezzanine affords even better views while keeping the main areas light and spacious.
The ground floor packs in the basics - service, storage, laundry, and an entry gallery fronting Brickel Street.
Photos by Brad Feinknopf.
Brassica is lean, charged, and urban. The kitchen holds center of activity tightly against a foil of continuously moving people. The artistry of the cuisine is made complete amid the life of the neighborhood. Seating is structured to suit a range of attitudes; standing tables to rub elbows while remaining introspective with a book, open and communal benches for old acquaintances or new, and intimate booths for two - or four for best friends. In support of the contemporary Mediterranean fare, the space is crafted from a rich and timeless palette and realized as an innovative, modern experience. Glazed brick, marble, and walnut set an enduring backdrop for food and artwork. Steel bends soft and leathery between seats. Small brass fixtures measure up tall and narrow spaces while glass globes play with sunlight in the day and glow the center of the restaurant at night.
We welcome the challenge of any project type. A great deal of our work comes from what we refer to as entrepreneurial clients… clients who are highly invested in whatever it is they are doing. They are passionate and smart and place a great value on architecture that captures what it is that makes them and their enterprise unique.
New companies. Businesses in focused periods of transition. We seek out opportunities to work for clients with a great deal on the line. They are all in. And so are we.
HOW WE DO IT
Our approach is very collaborative and conversational. Generally, our clients are the experts in their fields. We bring an understanding of how their needs might translate into architectural solutions to the table - and that transcends expertise specific to any one project type. Our clients talk. We listen. Then we draw. Our clients tell us that the responsiveness of our design process to their needs and aspirations is a large part of what separates us from other firms.
WHO WE DO IT FOR
In over a decade we have had the opportunity to design solutions for a wide range of clients – we have designed lumber mills, offices, dog kennels, work in Ohio Stadium, classrooms, houses and offices.
We are proud of our list of clients, who we also consider friends. A partial list includes:
Northstar Café, Jeni’s Ice Creams, Homage, Nationwide Children’s Hosptial, The Columbus Blue Jackets, LBrands, Dynamit, Treetree, Kaufman Development, Drive Capital, Pizzuti, The Ohio State University, The City of Bexley, Dupler Office, Loeb Electric, Pure Pressed Juicery, Corporate Interiors Contracting, AAA Ohio Auto Club, Brassica, Certified Oil, Kittie’s Cakes, Pistacia Vera, The Carvery, Salt & Pine, Bluestar Barber Shop, Balanced Yoga, Little Eater