Stories of Architects


November 7, 2017 at The Center for Architecture and Design.

Come and enjoy an hour of storytelling from local architects and learn all about what the Diversity by Design committee and what we do.

Featuring: Ruth Gless, FAIA

Ruth was the managing principal of Lincoln Street Studio and award-winning designer with over thirty years experience. Having spent the early part of her career as an artist, a classroom teacher and member of two internationally recognized architectural firms, she brings a unique vision to the practice of Lincoln Street Studio. Her architectural design experience includes projects in K-12 and higher education, education programming and planning, research and technology, and corporate headquarters.  She is active in her  neighborhood.  She serves on the board of Columbus's Center for Architecture and Design, and served as the 2011 President of the Columbus Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.  She was elevated to fellow in 2016 by the American Institute of Architects.

Questions e-mail Jennifer Rittler at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Jacleine Ely at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or Erika Chirafisi at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


People's Choice Awards

AIA Columbus 2017 People's Choice Winner

Ecole Kenwood French Immersion Elementary School | Fanning Howey


Ecole Kenwood French Immersion Elementary School is an alternative school located near the Kenwood Area of northwestern Columbus, Ohio. As part of the International Feeder Pattern for Columbus International High School, Ecole Kenwood draws students from throughout the city of Columbus, and these students benefit from the strong relationships they build with fellow classmates as they advance through the feeder pattern together. However, those bonds are notinitially present in elementary school, at time when students are leaving their home neighborhoods and friends to come learn at Ecole Kenwood.

Strengthening connections between students and creating a true community atmosphere is the overarching concept behind the design of the new elementary school. The building is arranged as five distinct small learning communities stacked in an efficient two-story academic wing. Library, computer and art program areas connect the communities, allowing students to stay in their academic area for everything other than music, gym, lunch and recess.

The spine of each small learning community is a central thoroughfare called the flex studio. As students walk along the flex studio, they encounter digital presentation hubs, small group areas, galleries for displaying student work, inspirational quote walls and views into other classrooms. The entire experience creates a student-centered environment that grounds children in a strong sense of place and connects students and teachers to one another in a powerful way.

The design concept connects the two-story academic wing and the public areas of the school with a large Gathering Stair that seats 75 to 80 students at one time. With their very own Spanish Steps, students are able to make presentations, participate in large group meetings or sit and listen to a teacher-directed lecture. The Gathering Stair has quickly become a favorite destination within the school, thanks to its inspiring setting. The two-story atrium surrounding the Gathering Stair includes student artwork displays and signage with French quotes that were carefully selected by Ecole Kenwood teachers.

The gym, cafeteria and administration offices are grouped on the south end of the building. Although Ecole Kenwood students come from across the city, the building is still a resource for multiple local community groups, and public areas are zoned for after-hours use of the facility. For example, the Kenwood Area Residents Association uses the café for monthly meetings.

While Ecole Kenwood’s French Immersion curriculum connects students to a global mindset, the careful design of the building grounds children in a strong sense of place and fosters a vibrant educational community.

Second Place: Drexel Theater Renovation | M+A Architects

Third Place: PAST Innovation Lab | WSA Studio

AIA Ohio 2017 Gold Medal Award

AIA Ohio 2017 Gold Medal Award Winner: Peter L. Bardwell, FAIA, FACHA

Peter Bardwell 5x7 - New Version

Peter L. Bardwell, FAIA, FACHA has been awarded AIA Ohio's 2017 Gold Medal Award. He brings over 40 years of experience in healthcare facilities planning and design spanning 22 states and 5 countries --- and including key roles in facility master planning, programming, and or schematic design of over 70 healthcare facilities.  Within the past 5 years alone, he has contributed to over 10 projects in those early phases, totaling over $1 Billion in construction value.

Mr. Bardwell is honored to be a nationally-recognized practitioner, speaker, and author in healthcare planning and design --- and to be among fewer than 50 practicing architects in the nation to be recognized as a Fellow in both the American Institute of Architects and the American College of Healthcare Architects.  He is, moreover, honored to serve on the 2017-2019 AIA Fellows Jury, which selects the leading architects in the nation each year for this designation.

He currently serves on the Board of the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health, for which he served as 2008 national President.  He served as 2013 national President of the American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA) which oversees board certification of healthcare architects.  Additionally, he served as 2012 President and Trustee of the Foundation of the Academy of Architecture for Health, which funds research on contemporary healthcare topics.

Mr. Bardwell is an invited speaker for the Lima, Peru College of Architects 2017 conference and was opening keynote speaker at HI.TEC 2013 in Singapore before an audience of over 300 delegates from Asia, Europe, and North America.  In addition, he has given multiple recent presentations across the U.S. on the subject of “How 10 Forces Are Continuing to Change Healthcare Design” --- and on “Design Trends in Healthcare”.

Importantly, committed to serving “the next generation” of healthcare leaders, he is honored to serve as a lecturer and Advisory Board member for the Xavier University graduate program in Health Services Administration and as a continuing contributor to the Clemson University program in Architecture+Health.

Lastly, equally committed to his community, he has served as a Boy Scout leader for over 2 decades and has served in multiple roles on behalf of his community’s zoning and design review boards over that same timeframe; currently serving as Architectural Review Board chair.






AIA Ohio 2017 Design Award Winners

AIA Ohio 2017 Design Award Winners 

Columbus Metropolitan Library, Whitehall Branch Library | Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design

Honor Award Winner


This Whitehall Library is the first of two projects that are part of the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Vision2020, a district-wide building initiative intended to re-create all of the system’s branches in the context of the library of the future. This new library, located on vacant property in Whitehall, had as its overarching goals:

1) maximizing access to customers

2) creating transparent architecture in an open environment

3) providing flexible and adaptable spaces

4) having a strong presence and becoming a changing agent in a challenged community.

The design was based upon a simple, open and transparent public reading room flanked by adjacent meeting rooms and services. The building is located along a main arterial street and two prominent and opposing entries provide easy access for both pedestrians and vehicles while joining the urban environment with the adjacent neighborhoods. The interior spaces are highly flexible, ensuring the library’s future relevance in a rapidly changing environment of technologies, information access and community needs.

Wilson Road Trailhead | WSA Studio

Honor Award Winner

wilson road

The new Wilson Road Trailhead park serves as a major trailhead for the Camp Chase Rail Trail. WSA Studio and the project team worked closely with not only the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, but also the community as a whole. The team facilitated community and stakeholder meetings. Based on community input, the 47-acre park includes an open-air shelter with picnic tables, bike racks, and a bike-repair station. The project was completed in the Spring of 2017 and has already seen a great deal of use from cyclists and park-goers. This is the first park created on the west side of Columbus in 15 years. 


Columbus Museum of Art Margaret M. Walter Wing | DesignGroup

Merit Award Winner


This two-story building project consists of three parts: a major addition of nearly 62,000 square feet, a major renovation of the CMA’s 32,000 square foot 1974 Wing addition, and associated site work related to a new main entrance, sculpture garden, and dependent outdoor spaces. The design team asked a series of provocative questions of CMA about both the relationship of a museum to contemporary culture and the importance of a museum’s physical relationship to the city and its citizens. The building design is a reflection of the answers to the questions, in addition to CMA’s stated ambition to be more visible, relevant, and connected to the community as a meeting point between art, the public, and the physical city.


2018 Candidates for Election

AIA Columbus Board of Directors Candidates for Election

AIA Columbus is pleased to announce the 2018 Slate of Candidates for election at the Annual Meeting on October 17, at Dock 580. Yanitza Brongers-Marrero, AIA, Associate Principal and Director of Housing at Moody Nolan, is seeking the office of President-Elect. Mike Vala, AIA, Architect at BSHM Architects, is seeking the office of Treasurer.  Aleks Daskalov, AIA, Vice President at Feinknopf Macioce Schappa Architects, is seeking the office of Secretary. Sara Boyer, AIA, Senior Associate Architect at Moody Nolan, Scott Conlon, AIA, Associate University Architect at The Ohio State University, Jerome Scott, AIA, President of Jerome M. Scott Architects and Matt Toddy, AIA, Architect at Design Collective, are seeking to fill two-year terms as Directors. Phil Riazzi, Associate AIA, Design Specialist at WSA Studio, is seeking to fill a two-year term as Associate Director.



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