Allied Works Architecture of Portland, Oregon, and New York City is in the process of designing a new Ohio Veterans Memorial and Museum to be located on West Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio, on the edge of the Scioto River. This new stand-alone pavilion is a part of the Scioto Greenways project—a comprehensive renovation and restoration of the river’s path downtown. “The new memorial building sits as a beacon to the City from across the river,” said Brad Cloepfil, founder of Allied Works Architecture. The striking contrast of the delicate, structurally elegant building will be a beautiful addition to the cityscape.
On May 10, 1940, Winston Churchill approached his Cabinet with the words, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat,” in the face of what would confront the British people during WWII. “Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength,” he said. In so many ways, Churchill’s words describe the knowledge, emotions, and courage that underpin memorials across the world and certainly within the new Veteran’s Memorial building planned for downtown Columbus. This captivating building encapsulates memories and hope together in one place, remembering those who fought and who continue to fight for freedom on land, air, and sea.
Cloepfil states there were two main challenges to the project. The first was to develop a building type that fit well within the city and the project scope. The second challenge was to give the building a strong image on the site. The result of these two challenges was that the team not only designed the building, but the site as well giving them a salient edge over the competition. Though details are still on the drawing boards, “a central, exterior pathway circles around the building, lifting pedestrians up from the earth gracefully toward the sky ending within a sanctuary type space at the top of the building,” said Cloepfil. The pavillion has both indoor and outdoor gathering spaces that operate as amphitheaters, ceremonial spots, and historical exhibit. OLIN is working with Allied Works Architecture on the landscape design.
“The innovative structure is, in effect, three rings banded around the building interlocking and counterbalancing each other, and then bound together at the top by a ring of concrete,”said Cloepfil, whose team worked with a German engineering company to detail the design. The interior spaces inside interlock along the upward winding pathway from the ground to the roof. Gathering spots on the outer ring of the building include public zones such as a café, social rooms, and museum spaces designed for education opportunities.
Former American pilot, engineer, astronaut, and United State Senator John Glenn and the ever-benevolent Les Wexner family have donated funds, time, and thought into this project alongside the leaders and residents of Columbus. Thinking about those who helped form this project’s meaning, Cloepfil said, “the overall theme of the building is more about service than a memorial. This call for service is really quite beautiful.”