The former home of the Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman hits the market
Columbus, a mostly ignored American landmark for contemporary architecture
Evocative landscapes and the works of illustrious architects give this US’s outsider city an unprecedented charme
It is the state capital of Ohio, the 14th-most populous city in the United States, and the third largest metropolis of the Midwest. Any guess on what this is? If the answer is no, there is a chance you already heard of Chicago and Indianapolis, but you may not have had the pleasure of meeting Columbus, a charming outsider whose allure, vibrant life, and architecture have been attracting increasing general attention.
1. Neoclassical Architecture: The Ohio Statehouse
Strong of its austere look, the building towers over the city’s daily hustle and bustle. Neoclassical on the exterior, the structure was inspired by ancient Greece – the very motherland of democracy –, consistently with typical mid-18th-century’s major architectural trends. One of the oldest working statehouses in the United States, the building mixes majestic pillars, friezes, and bright walls (www.ohiostatehouse.org).
2. Contemporary Architecture: The Columbus Museum of Art
A landmark for creativity, art and culture, the Columbus Museum of Art is a 100% modern hotspot recently revamped by studio DesignGroup. The sophisticated 4,000-sqm extension is entirely clad in copper and unfolds into a sandstone and glass gallery space featuring a new main entrance, retail store and restaurant, along with a relocated sculpture garden and related outdoor spaces (www.columbusmuseum.org).
Here’s one more spectacular location in Columbus, with immaculate nature stealing the stage: designed by DesignGroup, the Grange Insurance Audubon Center attempts a blend between natural wilderness and the urban environment through the use of eco-sustainable futuristic solutions and comfortable habitats (grange.audubon.org).
3. 19th-century’s German Architecture: Columbus’ historic German Village
Settled in the early-to-mid-19th century by a large number of German immigrants, it is one of Columbus’ most historic and evoking neighbourhoods. This actual outpost of German culture is a merge of exposed brick facades, working class atmospheres and small venues and shops, hidden, but not too much, in the heart of the American metropolis (www.germanvillage.com).
4. Deconstructionism: The Wexter Center of Arts
Back to visual arts. Please, make the acquaintance of the Wexter Center of Arts, a virtuous example of Deconstructionism originally conceived by architect Peter Eisenman in the late 1980s. This one-of-a-kind multidisciplinary, international laboratory for the exploration and advancement of contemporary art houses an extensive agenda of exhibitions and artist-in-residence programmes (www.wexarts.org).
5. 1960s’ Avant-Garde Architecture: COSI
COSI, an acronym for Center of Science and Industry, is a hybrid structure featuring a science museum and research center first opened in 1964. It is housed inside a 320,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki along a bend in the Scioto River (www.cosi.org).
6: Art Deco Architecture: The LaVeque Tower
Boasting one of Columbus’ most recognisable silhouettes, the LaVeque Tower is a 47-storey skyscraper designed by C. Howard Crane back in 1927. This Art Deco masterpiece mixes the old-fashioned facade and decorations with hyper-contemporary interiors, and is home to luxury residencies, charming design solutions, and jaw-dropping sights of the city.
Right outside Columbus
Located in Dublin, a few kms away from Columbus, Field of Corn is probably the quirkiest art installation in the Midwest: 109 concrete ears of corn positioned in rows and standing upright in a grassy field, it is a work by Malcom Cochran together with landscape designers Stephen Drown and James Hiss.
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