05-06-2007

Lindner Athletic Center. Cincinnati. Bernard Tschumi. 2005

Bernard Tschumi,

Museums, Campus, Centro Atletico, Gallery, Shops, sport, Auditorium, SPA,

Despite the narrow, irregular lot which forced the building to adapt as it took shape, the Cincinnati University athletic centre, named after Richard Lindner and designed by Bernard Tschumi, has managed to express its own personality and make its weaknesses into strengths.



Lindner Athletic Center. Cincinnati. Bernard Tschumi. 2005 The building is only a part of a complex programme based on guidelines contained in a masterplan which also includes other buildings by great architects (F. Gehry, P. Eisemann, etc.)
The layout of the centre is curved, insinuating itself between the volumes that surround it and developing over 5 levels.
White is the dominant colour, drawing attention to the presence of this building located at the entrance to the sports area next to the baseball diamond. A weave of triangular openings forms its outer shell, which is however interrupted at the boldest curves as if to protect the structure.
The result is a mesh that invites us to peek through its gaps, to discover its interior and the light coming from it. Three-dimensionality is an essential component of the construction, which plays with the effect of shadows created by the deep cuts of its triangular windows. The continuous alternation of full and empty volumes, protuberances and hollows, open and closed parts makes the building truly intriguing.
Inside, the structure containing the various facilities is metallic: a choice that facilitated the building?s construction, saving considerable time. In these spaces, distributed on various levels, are a 335 seat auditorium, a gym measuring more than 1000 square metres, the campus museum, a sports club, shops and ticket offices. But beyond these functions, it is the very conformation of the building and the organisation of space inside it that make it so valuable.
A large atrium extending the whole length and height of the building acts as a sort of gallery that visitors may cross from one building to the next. The bright red staircase starting out in the hall is the strongest identifying element in the building?s interior.
The view of the staircase from below is truly spectacular, rising along the building?s wall for its full 5 storeys. Another unusual feature is the galleries covered with black and white pictures on panels to create a photo gallery.

Laura Della Badia

GALLERY


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