First Financial Bank, by Carlos Jimenez

87 – First Financial Bank, West Hill

Created by by Carlos Jimenez, with associate architect Todd Williams of Columbus, this branch bank was a prototype design intended to maximize flexibility for site and technological adaptability.

The design balances two banking interactions – the one-to-one bank and customer, and the drive-through customer. The two distinct roof forms highlight these differences.

Fire Station 5 - Torre

88 – Fire Station 5

Susana Torre designed Fire Station Five as two overlapping squares. It is located on former farmland and uses understated references to familiar rural symbols of silos and barns.

The concept of opposites are played out in the use of materials: metal against brick, cold colors against warm, and an exposed steel frame within a masonry envelope.

Mt. Healthy Elementary by Hugh Hardy

89 – Mt. Healthy Elementary

Mt. Healthy Elementary is located on a route seldom traveled by anyone but the residents of this southwestern area of Bartholomew County. Despite its obscure location, it’s an interesting building designed by Hugh Hardy of Hardy Holzman Pfieffer Associates.

The school design is a symbolic return to the idea of the old one-room schoolhouse, where all the students of different levels would be learning in the same open space. It ushered in an era of open-concept school buildings in Columbus. For its time period, the building was considered very modern, with its open-concept plan enhanced by the exposed and brightly-colored mechanical, structural, and electrical elements.

In 2002, an addition to the school was completed, designed by local architect Nolan Bingham of the Paris Bingham Partnership.

Southside School, by Eliot Noyes

90 – Southside Elementary

This building is an example of Brutalist architecture, a word from a French phrase meaning raw concrete. Eliot Noyes designed it to be “larger than life.”

Noyes also designed the school with energy conservation in mind. The exterior and interior walls are of pre-cast concrete and remain in their natural state, minimizing maintenance of these surfaces. 

The stark concrete interior spaces are warmed and enlivened by walnut-stained oak woodwork and furniture, carpeted hallways and classrooms, and a slate floor in the commons area. Lighting (both natural and man made) were used in imaginative ways to make up for the lack of finish and ornamentation on the walls.

The centerpiece of the building is the sunny, enclosed courtyard – the commons. Noyes saw the building as a city, with the commons area as its town square.

The austere exterior conceals a surprisingly light-filled interior. Four concrete stairwells are naturally lit with clerestory and vertical slot windows and have been enlivened with brightly colored abstract murals by Ivan Chermayeff, a prolific designer, illustrator, and artist who has created memorable, iconic trademarks for hundreds of clients. He is a founding partner of Chermayeff & Geismar, a leading graphic design firm in the fields of corporate identity, brand development, and logo design.

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