The new Commons showcases public activites within ultra-clear glass.
Koetter Kim in collaboration with CSO Architects created a new and improved Commons for Columbus, Indiana, completed in May 2011. The original Commons designed by Cesar Pelli was a grand indoor public room, "an American piazza" with a custom indoor playground; it was an anchor to a downtown shopping mall to revitalize the downtown in 1974.
Unfortunately due to rising operating costs and substantial renovation cost estimates, a new downtown master plan was created to again revitalize downtown with street front retail, offices, housing, parking and a new public space with improved meeting and performance areas, as well as a new playground, and maintain the existing "Chaos No. 1" sculpture by Jen Tinguely.
The new Commons features ultra-clear insulated glass, with a variety of fritting patterns, to showcase the new indoor public activities within and provide greater energy efficiency. The multi-purpose performance and activity space is raised to a new second floor under the original building's structure, adding a new stage with theatrical lighting and rigging, all over new street front retail space below.
The zigzag windows are acoustical as well as architectural, framing views down the main street. Escalators and stairs wrap around the Chaos sculpture to retain the indoor civic room and draw people to the second floor activities. The corner glass pavilion is skewed and sloped to retain a view of the corner courthouse tower and create a playful structure to house the new custom playground by Copley Wolff Design Group featuring the Luckey Climber, an interactive sculpture. Vegetated green roof on the new structure assist with making this a sustainable project, targeting LEED silver rating.