The New Wexner Gallery and Art Center

Architecture G1 Studio / Spring 2020 / Jacqueline J. Gargus

In the aftermath of wildly the successful exhibition at the Wexner Center, Transfigurations: Modern Masters from the Wexner Family Collection, (Fall 2014), Leslie and Abigail Wexner have decided to establish a gallery to house a permanent display of works from their collection. In addition to displaying works by recognized masters, like Picasso, Giacometti, De Kooning, Degas, and Dubuffet, all of whom are well-­represented in the collection, the Wexners would like the new gallery to act as a catalyst in pushing Columbus to the forefront of the art scene. Hence, there will also be community outreach spaces, like classrooms,  a lecture hall, a café, a visitors’ shop,  and an area for children’s art,  as well as apartments and workspace for three visiting artists. An additional requirement is an exterior space, which can be used to hold “Art Symposia” and workshops.

A site on Broad Street was selected so the gallery can contribute to the development of the Discovery Arts District, i.e., the area adjacent to the Columbus Art Museum, the campus of the Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD), Columbus State, and the writer-­in-­residence program at the nearby Thurber House.  The clients also recognize the historical importance of Broad Street in Columbus, as a collector of major civic buildings. They urge the designer to consider the new gallery as part of this urban structure, and to use it to help stave off the erosion and dissolution of the edge of Broad Street.