Collection by Miyoko Ohtake

Ahead of Its Class


“How do you make a piece of architecture about architecture?” Mack Scogin asks. “That’s a heavy-duty objective.” Nevertheless, his firm, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, accepted the challenge, designing the consummate teaching tool for Ohio State University’s architecture school: a brand-new building.

The Ohio State University, Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture's crown jewel: Knowlton Hall.
One of the goals of the new building was for it to be an example for the students of each of the three disciplines.
For the architecture students, offering examples of good practices was much easier.
For better or worse, Livesey says, nearly all the furniture in the building is on wheels.
The mobile furniture allows impromptu presentations and discussions throughout the building.
The stadium seats in the auditorium are frequently used as meeting and lunching spots.
On the lowest level of the building is the materials and fabrication workshop, open and available to all students.
Photographer Ian Allen's visit to the school coincided with final reviews and thus frantic last-minute work.
At the heart of Knowlton Hall is the studio floor, outfitted with desks for nearly 500 and divided into quadrants.
A challenge in the studio space was to provide ample pin-up space while at the same time offering loads of natural...
Light also played a key role in the design of the library. "It's a glowing box at the top of the building," Scogin says.
Books are stacked around the edge of the translucent box, created a dramatic, back-lit effect.
A student reads in a space below the library while lounging in George Nelson's Coconut chair, positioned next to Harry...
One of the important battles the school chose to fight was moving the architecture collection out of the main library...
Located off of the library, the roof garden provides students with "a reflective space," Livesey says.
The airy entrance invites the rest of campus into the school.
The columns and marble were incorporated at the donor’s decree.
The marble, however, was a tough sell with the architects.
Due to a tight budget, the materials palette was severely limited and nearly entirely made up of concrete, glass, and...
The hall glows at night—not surprisingly as it's open 24 hours a day and used by students through all hours.