The United States Post Office was established in Revolutionary America through the Constitution. Its tenets were to provide low-cost and universally-accessible correspondence to the newly-formed electorate, informing the voting public through the circulation of news. To work within the architectural heritage of Columbus, we propose as a site for architectural intervention the colonnade of the city’s post office designed by Kevin Roche in 1970. The proposal seeks to re-engage this public ethos of the post office, celebrating it as a crucial artifact of civic literacy and agency.
Occupying the 200' by 16' dimension of the colonnade, the chairs, the lights, and the table will create a provisional town hall. Constructed of 2’ x 8’ sheets of white powder-coated steel on trestles, the table will be a white slab that simply floats in the space, claiming a monumentality in its scale and blankness. The surface, empty and neutral, formalizes this space of dissemination, persuasion, and rhetoric. The lighting will be construction site fluorescent tubes, arrayed above the table, supported within a scaffolding of pipe bracing and cables hung from the overhead beams. The sequence of lights will contrast with the scale of the columns, emphasizing the provisional nature of the project and its ethos of process and transitional use. TABLE-TOP is an opportunity to re-imagine the relationship between architecture and political engagement, using space to frame and enable an expanded definition of citizenship, belonging, and participation. The abstraction of the white surface of the table, the clustering of chairs, and the scaffolding of fluorescent lights will transform the monumental colonnade into a luminous space of exchange, leisure, and engagement.
HOME-OFFICE Competition Entry (2018-2019 Exhibit Columbus)
Project Leads: Brittany Utting, Daniel Jacobs