May 25, 2023

Architecture Students Install Summer Stations in Columbus Libraries

The sophomore project used recyclable cardboard to create reading nooks and book displays.

Architecture Students Install Summer Stations in Columbus Libraries

This spring, the Knowlton School’s second-year undergraduate architecture studios designed and built “Summer Stations” to honor the 150th anniversary of the Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) system. Twelve unique stations were installed across four of the largest CML branches. The atrium of the Main Library downtown received six stations. The CML's Dublin, Gahanna, and Karl Road branches each received two. 

Each station broadcasts library favorites from the collection or simply creates a special space to sit, read, and relax inside the library. Made from recyclable cardboard (provided by Blue Box Corrugated), the designs showcase the unexpectedly rich aesthetic and structural potential of a common material. Working in teams, 77 students participated in this design-build project which combined community outreach, student creativity, and the latest digital fabrication tools available in Knowlton’s state-of-the-art Fab Lab. Each sophomore studio section produced two installations.

The studios were led by Knowlton faculty Nour Al-Qarra, Sam Clovis, Justin Diles, Ochuko Evwaraye, Zelig Fok, and Aleah Springer. The project was sponsored by the Knowlton School, Blue Box Corrugated, and the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Associate Professor Justin Diles coordinated the sophomore studios, and initiated and co-led the project with Wendy Tressler, the CML’s director of capital planning & project management.

The summer stations at the Main Library were installed to coincide with the opening of the annual Ohioana Book Festival. The festival was attended by thousands of visitors, including the Governor and First Lady of Ohio, Mike and Fran DeWine, who opened the event surrounded by the work of Knowlton students. The installations will be on view in the atrium of the Main Library through the end of May.