COLUMBUS, INDIANA ARCHITECTURE > COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL
- Cummins Inc. Irwin Conference Center, Eero Saarinen, 1954
- Cummins Columbus Engine Plant expansion, Harry Weese, 1960, 1965
- First Financial Bank – Eastbrook, Harry Weese, 1961
- Cummins Inc. Technical Center, Harry Weese, 1968
- Cummins Inc. Irwin Office Building Arcade, Kevin Roche, 1972
- Cummins Midrange Engine Plant, Kevin Roche, 1973
- AT&T Switching Center, Paul Kennon, 1978
- Cummins Corporate Office Building, Kevin Roche, 1984
- Breeden Realtors Office Building, Thomas Beeby, 1995
- Cummins Columbus Engine Plant Expansion, Kevin Roche, 1996
- Cummins Child Development Center, Carlos Jimenez, 2001
- First Financial Bank – West Hill, Carlos Jimenez, 2001
- First Financial Bank – Creekview, Deborah Berke, 2006
- Cummins Commons Office Building, Koetter Kim, 2009
Cummins Inc. Irwin Conference Center, Eero Saarinen, 1954
500 Washington Street, Columbus
(Formerly Irwin Union Bank and Trust) Cummins Inc. Irwin Conference Center was designed by Eero Saarinen in 1954, with landscape design by Dan Kiley. It is a low, glass-walled building set in a grove of trees. Unusual domed lights and an open interior creates a large open room and a feeling of openness and friendliness. The modern bank is linked to the 1910 office building and three-story building by a three-story glass arcade, which was designed by Kevin Roche and added in 1973. The striped glass of the arcade is made to help moderate the extremes of temperature a glass building can experience.
Cummins Columbus Engine Plant expansions, Harry Weese (1960, 1965) and Kevin Roche (1996)
500 Central Avenue, Columbus
Harry Weese designed a large manufacturing facility around an existing building to accommodate large manufacturing. Kevin Roche designed the 1996 expansion on the east side.
First Financial Bank - Eastbrook, Harry Weese, 1961
2580 Eastbrook Plaza, Columbus
Harry Weese designed the gray-glazed brick bank (formerly Irwin Union Bank and Trust) in 1961 and Thomas Beeby designed the seamless addition in 1996. The building is sited along the Haw Creek and it blends with two nearby bridges.
Cummins Inc. Technical Center, Harry Weese, 1968
1900 McKinley Ave, Columbus
Designed in 1968 by Harry Weese Associates of Chicago, Cummins Technical Center incorporates two connecting buildings, a six-story, window-wall office building for the professional engineering staff, and a two-story research and engine testing facility.
Both buildings are constructed of steel, glass and concrete. The research and engine testing facility utilizes modular, pre-cast concrete panels to create the exterior curtain wall, a method used in several other Cummins buildings constructed since 1957. In contrast, the concrete of the six-story office building was poured floor by floor. Oblong pre-cast concrete forms provide sun screening for the glass windows in each floor. The office interior features formed pre-cast concrete which incorporated the mechanical and electrical systems.
The area around the Technical Center has been landscaped by Dan Kiley with trees, grass, pools, and plantings. Kiley also designed the rows of london plane trees lining Central Avenue (Haw Creek Boulevard) and the plantings around the Cummins Columbus Engine Plant and Cummins Health Center across the boulevard.
Cummins Inc. Irwin Office Building Arcade, Kevin Roche, 1972
525 Jackson Street
The three-story office building, by Kevin Roche, is an addition to the former Irwin Union Bank designed by Eero Saarinen. The predominately glass building relates to the original building, connected with a glass corridor/galleria that was originally a public pass through. The original glass was replaced in 2012 with the horizontal strips composed of ceramic frit dots to reduce the heat gain in the enclosed galleria. Landscaping was by Jack Curtis, who also designed the landscaping of the main offices across Jackson Street.
Cummins purchased the building in 2011 and now houses additional downtown offices within. The interior has been renovated with open office areas and a variety of enclosed meeting rooms to encourage collaboration.
The building interior features exposed steel trusses, due to the low floor-to-floor height to match scale of the adjacent 19th-century buildings. The open floors are kept column free with long-span trusses and by placing the building support rooms (stairs, elevators and restrooms) in brick enclosures at both ends of the building. The grey brick was the same brick originally selected by Saarinen to face the side of the adjacent building.
In 1989, the bank was enlarged further by renovating two buildings to the north with cast iron columns and glass Victorian facades. Kevin Roche directed the renovation of these buildings, one of which was designed by prolific local architect Charles F. Sparrell.
Cummins purchased the building in 2011 and it now houses downtown offices. The interior has been renovated with open office areas and a variety of enclosed meeting rooms to encourage collaboration.
Cummins Midrange Engine Plant, Kevin Roche, 1973
2700 W 450 S, Columbus
To preserve the surrounding wooded site, this 13-acre building is depressed into a clearing and features parking on the roof. The main floor of the building is actually two levels with the manufacturing floor three feet lower than the office areas, which surrounds it on three sides. There are three roof-top glass entry structures, two are secured employee entries with stairs and escalators, the other is a visitors entry with an elevator.
The layout of the plant provides all occupants with a view of the outside. In the middle of the manufacturing area is a landscaped courtyard completely surrounded by glass. Light and views of the outside environment are facilitated with a slanted glass roof at the cafeteria, located in the southwest corner of the building.
One of the main goals in the building design was the preservation and enhancement of the environment for those using the facility. As a result, special attention was given to creating an environmentally controlled system of air, noise, and water pollution control devices which surpassed industry standards at the time. This factory was proclaimed a prototype of future factory buildings in the early 1970s.
Since the manufacturing and assembly areas were designed to be highly flexible and efficient, the original component machining and assembly equipment were easily removed to allow assembly lines utilizing computerization and robotic systems to build the midrange engines, without impacting the building’s architecture.
AT&T Switching Center, Paul Kennon, 1978
Seventh and Franklin Streets, Columbus
Paul Kennon of Caudill, Rowlett, Scott designed this building in 1978. Distinctive for its mirrored glass facade and its primary colored accents, the building houses electronic equipment. Originally a three-story brick building, Indiana Bell commissioned Paul Kennon to add an addition and create a new cohesive design on a transitional site, joining the business district and one of the community’s older residential areas.
Kennon’s solution was to unify the existing building and the new addition by encasing both in a skin of reflective glass. Giant yellow, orange, red, and blue “organ pipes” on the west alley side of the building provide a colorful accent, and have become an iconic image of the modern architecture of Columbus. The pipes are actually color-coded functional stacks for the building’s HVAC system. Building service entry doors and other exhaust elements are also accented with primary colors.
The majority of the trellis structure and the pear trees, an integral part of the original design concept, were removed when the birds became a public nuisance. The reflective glass is still effective in making the building disappear into its surroundings. This modern building is an example of the community’s commitment to design excellence even with such a functional structure.
The AIA (American Institute of Architects) gave the building its Honor award in 1980, describing the center as, “a delightfully whimsical solution to the use of mirrored glass.”
From the New York Times obituary for Paul Kennon:
Paul A. Kennon, an award-winning architect who was dean of the School of Architecture at Rice University, died of a heart attack on Monday at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. He was 55 years old and lived in Houston.
Mr. Kennon, who served as associate director of the school in 1966-67, was appointed dean last September. At the same time, he was senior design principal for CRSS Inc., of Houston, one of the nation’s largest architectural and engineering firms. He had been affiliated with the firm since 1967.
Mr. Kennon designed corporate and institutional buildings. He received more than 100 awards for his designs, including honors from the American Institute of Architects and the magazine Progressive Architecture. In 1976, he was named to the College of Fellows of the institute. Among his most recent works are the Chrysler Technology Center in Austin Hill, Mich., and the 3M/Austin Center, the 3M company’s regional headquarters in Austin, Texas.
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Cummins Corporate Office Building, Kevin Roche, 1984
500 Jackson Street, Columbus
Designed by Kevin Roche (Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates) the Cummins Corporate Office Building, completed in 1984, serves as the world headquarters for Cummins, Inc., a Fortune 500 Company and diesel engine manufacturer. The one-story building with a mezzanine level occupies three blocks in downtown Columbus. The zigzag plan configuration interacts with a park-like setting on the east side of the building, defined by a portico surrounding the four-story historic Cerealine building, which serves as the employee cafeteria. The office building is primarily cast-in-place octagonal concrete columns with infilled precast concrete spandrels and narrow windows to provide noise and sun control.
Landscape Architect Jack Curtis created the park-like setting for the Cummins corporate headquarters and the project received an Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects. The central park area features glory maple, sugar maple, Boston ivy, birch, redbud, and dogwood. In the summer months, the park is lush and green, while the climbing hydrangea bloom on the columns surrounding the building. Located at Fifth and Jackson Streets.
- Learn more, listen to tour audio, and see more photos of Cummins Corporate Office Headquarters
- The Pritzker Prize winners of Columbus
- See a beautiful 360-degree panorama of the headquarters’ front entrance and the former Cerealine building
- The Landscape architects of Columbus – Dan Kiley, Michael Van Valkenburg, Jack Curtis
Breeden Realtors Office Building, Thomas Beeby, 1995
700 Washington Street, Columbus
The headquarters for Breeden Inc. was designed by Thomas Beeby and Gary Ainge in 1995. Breeden Inc. understood the value of Columbus’ commitment to architectural design excellence, commissioning nationally recognized Thomas Beeby of Chicago to design a distinctive, yet still modest, office building for its headquarters. Located on the northern entry to downtown on Washington Street, the “main street” of Columbus, it created a prominent corner with its recessed glass rotunda entry. The corner brick plaza acts as a terminus to the downtown streetscape as well as a harmonious “gateway” entrance from the north to downtown.
The predominant architectural impression is a simple functional building, highlighted by abstract classical details.
Cummins Columbus Engine Plant Expansion, Kevin Roche, 1996
Cummins main engine plant has been in the same location for over 70 years and has grown to 1.3 million square feet. Kevin Roche was asked to renovate the existing plant, design an office addition, and create a new entry on the east side facing Central Avenue.
The Central Avenue entry is highlighted by a tree-lined boulevard with visitor parking and landscaped parking for employees on both sides
Cummins Child Development Center, Carlos Jimenez, 2001
650 Pleasant Grove, Columbus
The Center was designed by Carlos Jimenez and opened in 2001. The center has wings that surround a central courtyard. Jimenez envisioned the site to be a protected island. Jack Curtis’ landscaping added to the effect.
The Child Development Center provides on-site child care services for up to 228 children for employees of Cummins working over two shifts. The one-level building occupies a corner site in a modest residential area next to the carefully landscaped Central Avenue, Haw Creek, and the adjacent Cummins manufacturing and research campus.
The simple, industrially clad metal siding and brick building consists of interconnecting classrooms serving infants to toddlers, two-year olds to pre-schoolers. The building entry is pronounced with a projecting metal canopy and blue metal panels, with an adjacent meeting room highlighted with playful circular windows. The conference room and lobby area are daylighted with clerestory dormers. A continuous single-loaded corridor, with large windows at the lobby for the adults and low windows for children, wraps around a central playground area. The structure’s simple shed roof slopes down from the high exterior walls shielding the internal activities from the street to a lower scale at the courtyard, collecting natural light.
First Financial Bank - West Hill, Carlos Jimenez, 2001
4190 Jonathan Moore Pike
This branch bank was a prototype design intent on maximizing spatial flexibility, site and technological adaptability for the branch banks in Columbus and Seymour, Indiana.
The simple square plan has a central vaulted space where flexible and open offices are located. It is also a banking hall, a lobby, and an open container receiving light from both ends of its continuous sectional arc. All other bank functions such as tellers, vaults, restrooms, private offices, mechanical and storage, wrap around the central space. The layout can be rotated to accommodate different site conditions, just as the drive-through teller’s canopy can be hinged from another wall.
The design aims to balance two types of banking: the personal one-to-one relationship between banker and customer, and the more expedient transactions offered by drive-through tellers. Two distinct roof forms highlight this difference while asserting their interdependence. The exterior materials are brick, clear anodized aluminium and clear glass. The entry is projected with horizontal metal ribbed siding and full glass doors.
First Financial Bank - Creekview, Deborah Berke, 2006
707 Creekview Dr, Columbus
Dwell magazine said “it may be the most refined bank branch in the world.” The 4,000-square-foot structure, designed by Deborah Berke & Partners Architects, holds its own among superstores and parking lots. Suspended circular lamps and recessed fixtures bounce light off the white walls and the main lobby’s vaulted ceiling while lit glass roof panels give the exterior a bold glow. In Berke’s own words, “It’s a modernist building, but it’s absolutely inextricably linked to this site in relation to visibility.” The clean lines and bright lighting of Eero Saarinen’s downtown Irwin Union Bank and Trust design carried over to Berke’s vision for the new bank building (formerly Irwin Union Bank and Trust), a design representative of a safe and accepting environment for customers.
From Deborah Berke’s website:
“We designed this small drive-through branch for a regional bank with a long history of supporting innovative architecture. Sited on a commercial strip surrounded by big-box stores, we set a glass volume on top of and perpendicular to a brick volume that housed the banking hall below. The dramatic lighting of the channel glass allowed the building an iconic visibility beyond the limits of its physical size. This same glass volume creates a generously day lit hall for customers inside and dramatic canopy for drive-thru customers outside.”
Cummins Commons Office Building, Koetter Kim, 2009
301 Jackson Street, Columbus
This four-story building was designed as a general office building for Cummins, who requested open offices with plenty of natural lighting. Located on the site of the original Commons Mall, this was the second building constructed as a part of the downtown redevelopment master plan.
Its primary glass curtain wall facade faces south toward the open Courthouse Square, allowing natural daylighting and pleasing views.
The main building entry on the corner of 3rd Street and the new Jackson Street, is emphasized with a projecting bay window above a projecting entry vestibule, recalling the historic bay windows of downtown and the modern detailing of the Irwin Union Bank. The top floor is recessed with expressed thin columns and a projecting cornice. The clear floor-to-ceiling glass is meticulously detailed with projecting horizontal mullions, sunscreens, and end fins. The side walls are simplified with horizontal windows, patterned with offsetting translucent windows and vertical sun fins on the west facade. The building is energy efficient and sustainable, achieving LEED Silver rating.
The five-story addition doubles the office area, with a four-story terraced atrium next to the existing building, providing daylight and social gathering spaces in the center of the expanded office floor. The connection between the new addition and the existing building features a “bow tie” project, for viewing up and down the street, and a “butterfly” inverted roof to direct daylight down into the interiors. The 4th Street front is reduced to three stories, to match the height of the adjacent Commons, with restaurants on the street level. The fourth floor features a corner terrace and a vegetated green roof.