LMN Architects expands and renovates the Greater Columbus Convention Center


Creating improved connection to community

SEATTLE, October 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Greater Columbus Convention Center Expansion and Renovation breathes new life into this emblematic civic complex. The $140 million, multi-building project adds 137,000-square-feet of new space and renovates 800,000-square-feet of the existing structure. Schooley Caldwell Associates served as associate architect for the project, with Corna Kokosing Construction Company and Elford, Inc. as Construction Manager.

In the nearly 25 years since the original convention center was constructed in 1993, downtown Columbus has undergone a dramatic transformation. The new expansion reflects this growth, recalibrating the experience of the facility to the current urban fabric of the city—engaging the pedestrian activity and public spaces of downtown, as well as the thriving Short North neighborhood. The prominent new glazed civic entry embodies this transformation.

“A driver for the expansion was to better integrate the building with the neighborhood and city,” notes Wendy Pautz, AIA, LMN Architects’ Design Partner for the project. “Areas of glass reveal the activity happening inside the building to the outside world, most notably where the transparent pavilion meets the exterior plaza.” This transparency continues throughout the building with a new entry to the main exhibit hall and windows in the meeting rooms. Says Pautz, “The test of the project is how well it serves visitors and the surrounding urban environment. Its success is as much about how it engages the street as what happens inside.”

Inside, the renovation renews the original building’s complex composition of spatial experience. The distinctive, multi-layered finishes are enlivened through the use of color and light, while interior spaces are reimagined in response to today’s convention market with enhanced flexibility to accommodate a wide range of events. Sculptural lighting with custom color configurations animate the ceilings of the two multi-purpose ballrooms, enabling the interior expression to be choreographed to unique visual characteristics of each event and to complement the theatricality of the existing Battelle Grand Ballroom which LMN previously renovated in 2010.

A series of pre-function spaces along the main concourse, which runs the full 15-acre extent of the north and south buildings, create a sequence of public spaces that activate the architectural experience with the social energy of the event. These nodes are defined by luminous glass walls and openings to the sky and street—providing internal daylight while further embellishing the building’s external presence as a prominent civic venue.

Upgraded systems throughout the building include wall coverings, ceilings, carpeting, social seating, way finding, digital technology, sound systems and lighting. The project anticipates LEED Silver Certification.


Project team

Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority (Client/Owner)

LMN Architects (Architect of Record, Architectural and Interior Design)

Schooley Caldwell Associates (Associate Architect)

Magnusson Klemencic Associates (Structural)

EMH&T and Korda/Nemeth Engineering (Civil)

Heapy Engineering (MEP)

MKSK (Landscape Architect)

Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design and Tec Studio Inc. (Lighting)

Stantec (Acoustics)

Dynamix Engineering Ltd. (AV/Data)

Pentagram (Signage)

Rider Levett Bucknall (Cost Estimator)

Corna Kokosing Construction Co. & Elford, Inc. (Construction Manager at Risk)

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 About LMN

LMN Architects specializes in the planning and design of significant public and private projects, including education facilities, cultural venues, convention centers, office buildings, mixed-use developments, transit stations, and other urban environments that celebrate and enrich communities. The firm is the recipient of the 2016 American Institute of Architects Architecture Firm Award.


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