F+++ing Brilliant

Edited by: Enrico Mancini enrico.mancini@positive-magazine.com

Architecture: South Campus Chiller Plant at OSU, Ross Barney Architects.

Where: Columbus, Ohio, United States.

Proofreading: Bianca Baroni




Architecture is a strange discipline, no doubt about it. Sometimes an anonymous building, with anonymous functions, in an anonymous landscape, may be designed with something new, a little technical solution that changes everything.

It may be a peculiar joint between the beams that defines a never-seen-before cross section, like the Pompidou Centre in Paris, or the simple reinterpreting of an Egyptian column, like the Johnson Wax building by Frank Lloyd Wright.


This time is something that is flying a little bit lower in the empyrean skies of architecture, but smart enough to stand out of the masses in these years of austerity.


Everything is based on a simple material, the dichroic glass. From Wikipedia: “Dichroic glass is glass containing multiple micro-layers of metals or oxides which give the glass dichroic optical properties. The main characteristic of dichroic glass is that it has a particular transmitted color and a completely different reflected color, as certain wave lengths of light either pass through or are reflected. This causes an array of color to be displayed. The colors shift depending on the angle of view.”


The idea is quite simple, as every smart idea is, explained here by Ross Barney Architects: “since there are no visible moving parts, dichoric glass fins located in the joints of the precast panels, will convey a sense of motion as the colors change from the movement of the sun.”


Ross Barney Architects managed to turn what could have easily be a five stories concrete grey box into a kaleidoscopical, bright and continuously changing magic box.

The result is, in every way, brilliant.



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