Knowlton Hall

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Knowlton Hall
Knowlton Hall OSU South
Alternative names Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture, KSA
General information
Type School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and City and Regional Planning
Architectural style Contemporary
Location Ohio State University
Address 275 West Woodruff Avenue, Columbus OH, 43210-1138
Town or city Columbus, Ohio
Country United States
Coordinates 40.0035350°N -83.0167800°W [1]
Groundbreaking April 5, 2002 [1]
Completed July 31, 2004 [1]
Opened September 2004 [1]
Inaugurated October 29, 2004 [1]
Cost $33,000,000 [1]
Technical details
Structural system Concrete and Steel Frame with marble shingle skin [1]
Floor area 165,000 ft2 [2]
Design and construction
Architect Mack Scogin, Merril Elam [1]
Architecture firm Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects of Atlanta, WSA, and Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates [1]
Structural engineer Lantz, Jones & Nebraska, Inc.[3]
Civil engineer Bird & Bull, Inc.[3]
Main contractor P. J. Dick [1]

Knowlton Hall, located in Columbus, Ohio, United States, is the current home for the three disciplines that comprise the Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture (KSA) at The Ohio State University.[1] The building was completed in 2004. The School of Architecture offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and City and Regional Planning.[2] Knowlton Hall serves as the replacement for Ives Hall, the previous home of the school of architecture which was demolished in July 2002.[4] The namesake of Knowlton Hall is Austin E. "Dutch" Knowlton. He graduated from The Ohio State University in 1931 with a Bachelor's in Architectural Engineering and provided a $10 million donation that spearheaded the funding for the creation of the building.[1]


Initially, the brief for the building was to renovate the existing building, Ives Hall, and plan an addition to accommodate anticipated programming. As the architect, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, worked, they realized it would be better to build anew with the primary goal of the building to inspire its students.[5]

The structure is post-tensioned concrete construction and white Georgia marble as stipulated by the donor.[5][6] The marble was used as shingles in a rainscreen that could be easily replaced and allow light inside.[5][7]

The resulting building form is monumental with enclosing, defining, and confronting space and adjacent buildings with a sense of elegance reflected in its green space.[8][9] Designed by Michael van Valkenburg Associates Inc, the landscape attempts to increase nature on the site through landform strips around the building’s perimeter and construction of an arboreal bosque.[10]

Design and organization[edit]

Knowlton Hall houses a 30,000 volume library, 65 offices, 45 studio spaces, a workshop, its own café, and a large auditorium that serves not only as one of the six classrooms in Knowlton but also as a stage for the KSA lecture series.[3][11] The KSA lecture series bring students into close contact with prominent researchers and practitioners of architecture, landscape architecture, and city planning. These lectures supplement information and ideas discussed within classes and help to form real world connections with the material.[11] In addition to the tangible advantages that Knowlton provides for its students, it in many cases also serves as a source of artistic inspiration. It was designed to be and has successfully become a showcase for architectural possibilities. The grey, unfinished concrete surfaces of the interior of Knowlton Hall have become in their own right teaching tools for the nearly 600 students who enter the building daily. Students can get a visual feel for the actual construction of the building. In short, the interior characteristics of Knowlton Hall provide a top notch learning environment for its students.[12] As one member of an award jury for the AIA said in regards to Knowlton Hall:

"What architect would not have liked to have gone to school here? This project embodies everything I would want in an architecture building. It is full of unique spaces, an open flexible hall that beckons people to participate, and seems to have surprises around every corner. ‘Our buildings shape us,’ as Churchill said, and to have future generations of architects learn and grow as designers within an inspiring building such as this… is exhilarating."[13]


Since its completion in 2004, Knowlton Hall has been the subject of a lot of attention, not only within the local community of Columbus but also nationally. Knowlton Hall has gained recognition by national publications, such as Architecture, Competitions, Dwell, Praxis, and Architectural Record, and has also been the recipient of numerous awards:[2]


Todd Gannon, Margaret Fletcher, Teresa Ball (eds), Mack Scogin Merrill Elam: Knowlton Hall, Columbus, Ohio, Springer Science & Business Media, 2007[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Knowlton Hall, Austin E." John H. Herrick Archives, 12 November 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2012
  2. ^ a b c d "About the KSA" KSA, Retrieved 25 November 2012
  3. ^ a b c Hart, Sara. "Knowlton Hall, Ohio State University" Architectural Record, May 2005. Retrieved 25 November 2012
  4. ^ Dillon, Danielle "University bids farewell to Ives Hall" The Lantern15 June 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012
  5. ^ a b c "Mack Scogin on OSU's Knowlton Hall". Dwell. Retrieved 2015-11-11.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ "Knowlton Hall, The Ohio State University - CommitteeonDesign". Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  7. ^ "Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects brings design panache back home". ArtsATL. 2015-03-19. Archived from the original on 2015-09-08. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  8. ^ "Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture / Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects". ArchDaily. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  9. ^ a b "Harvard Graduate School of Design - Homepage". Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  10. ^ "Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc". Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  11. ^ a b "News and Events: Lecture Series" KSA. Retrieved 28 November 2012
  12. ^ "Knowlton Hall - Ohio State University" Portland Cement Association 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012
  13. ^ "Knowlton Hall Wins Prestigious Architecture Award" The Ohio State University: College of Engineering 11 June 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012

Coordinates: 40°0′13″N 83°1′0″W / 40.00361°N 83.01667°W / 40.00361; -83.01667