Columbus IDea Foundry

The CIF is a mixed-use facility, with activities such as welding and laser cutting, occurring in the same complex as K-12 students attending classes, and IT professionals attending high-end events. Before working with TRIAD, we were not even sure such a project was possible.”
–Alex Bandar, Founder and Director, Columbus Idea Foundry

Stewardship is helping a client cut a budget without cutting corners.

The heart of the Columbus Idea Foundry (CIF) is the perfect harmony of low tech (handsaws and glue clamps) and high tech (3D printers and electronics labs).

CIF Founder Alex Bandar initially doubted success was possible with the tight budget -- but where other architects may have seen a hassle, TRIAD saw an opportunity and met expectations under budget. In fact, upon completion, the space attracted further investment from additional partners.

Now, the first floor of the 60,000 square foot former shoe factory is filled with artists, blacksmiths, woodworkers, industrial designers, furniture makers, robotics experts and more. 

Phase II of the CIF project opened in March 2017. We embraced the idea of "serendipitous fiction," and expanded the second floor into a space for coworking, education, and events. 

The community is at the center of the Idea Foundry - the design is intended to invite the community to take ownership over the space, and then to provide endless opportunities for adaptation and customization as the community grows and evolves.


Stewardship is fixing well-intentioned design mistakes from past eras.

Pointview Elementary was originally constructed according to the "open classroom" movement of the 60s and 70s. Although the intentions were good, the outcome left something to be desired. 

Instead of demolishing the building, TRIAD was able to achieve the original design intentions while rectifying the mistakes. This design was largely inspired by engagement sessions with students and staff. Pointview serves a diverse population of students and wants everyone to feel welcome, and they adopted a lighthouse theme to serve as a beacon of learning in all aspects. This includes a circular art room with floor-to-ceiling windows, and a ceiling that opens so the room can also serve as a functional sun dial.

The Shop at Westerville North

Stewardship is taking lessons we've learned from industry leaders into the classroom.

The Shop at Westerville North is a fully equipped makerspace. All the same tools you would find at the Idea Foundry are available here for Westerville students - wood and metal working, computer programming, electronics.

The space is divided between the workshop and a computer lab that features 3D projection mapping and advanced network capabilities. The workshop opens to the rear parking lot allowing projects to outgrow the space and giving students a chance to work outside.

Students who learn at The Shop will be prepared to take advantage of all that the maker community has to offer. They will also be prepared for the high-tech manufacturing jobs of the present and future. Most importantly, they will learn that they can make anything they can imagine.


Cedar Bog Nature Preserve

“The biggest selling point to me is that everything you design is unique. It doesn’t scream ‘TRIAD designed me!’ The other firms have that ‘look.’ You separate yourselves from that. Cedar Bog needed a design that screamed ‘Cedar Bog!’ and you recognized that. Thank you!” –Sally Engle, The Cedar Bog Association

Stewardship is a building that fits seamlessly with its environment.

A National Natural Landscape, Cedar Bog is the largest and best example of a boreal and prairie fen complex in Ohio. When the Ohio Historical Connection decided to add an education center, they were concerned that building on the site may compromise this national treasure.

TRIAD was able to site the building in a way that respected, actively utilized, and improved the wetlands. Passive and active solar features (building orientation, brise soleil, solar panel, trombe wall) and automatic lighting reduce energy needs, and rain gardens offset runoff and filter water coming into and out of the building. As one of the most innovative onsite water treatment systems in Ohio, Cedar Bog’s system becomes an active part of the ecosystem and contributes to the ongoing preservation of the natural habitat.


Walnut Springs Center for Inspiration

“It’s been a month since the new Center opened, and already visits have tripled and circulation is up 200 percent. I think I’m going to need more staff!”
–Jean Trimble, Information Specialist & Librarian

Stewardship is inspiring students to be curious.

The Center for Inspiration (CFI) at Walnut Springs Middle School was designed to immerse students in literature, music, art and craft. The design itself was inspired by the Amedee Ozenfant’s painting, “Still Life with Glass of Wine.” The guitar shape in the curve of the ceiling was to show students how one form of art can influence another.

The renovation includes a variety of seating options (like a custom circular bookcase/reading nook), a flexible classroom, a special speaker system, a TV studio, and a makerspace complete with a 3D printer.

The CFI turned a passive, single-use space into an active space filled with activities, while still leaving room for students to sit and read or study. The only problem is getting students to leave the Center to go back to class.

Columbus Downtown High School

The biggest benefit of this transition is the location. Being downtown, we have the ability to partner with organizations and colleges for internships, speaking engagements and mentorships.” –David Mangas, Columbus Downtown High School Director

Stewardship is connecting students with the downtown community.

When Columbus City Schools decided to bring students back to downtown Columbus, they looked to TRIAD to help make sure those students were engaging with the downtown community.

To accomplish this integration, TRIAD focused first on student and visitor experience, and then on ensuring the exterior fit with the existing urban fabric of downtown.

As a vocational school, there were ample opportunities to integrate community and classroom. For example, culinary students at CDHS operate a café that is open to the public, and cosmetology students operate a salon. Proximity to downtown colleges, universities, and businesses create opportunities for real-world endeavors, as well as internship and job prospects.

Westerville Early Learning Center

Westerville’s Early Learning Center (ELC) serves both traditional students and those with special needs. Familiarity is important to all students, so TRIAD incorporated popular cartoon characters into “Westervillage,” an interactive exploration area that mimics Uptown Westerville. Particular attention was paid to color and texture, as both are shown to engage students.

The building also houses the district’s administrative offices, bringing together departments that had been spread throughout multiple buildings. The absent barriers brought a sense of community to district staff who previously may not have interacted.

Academic Enrichment Center

The judges praised the AEC for treating kids in an ‘adult, respectful, sophisticated way.’ Or, as one student put it, ‘This place is amazing. I feel important. I feel loved.’” -Learning by Design Magazine, Spring 2012

Stewardship is treating everyone with respect.

The Academic Enrichment Center (AEC) was envisioned as a place for at-risk students and returning adults learners to complete coursework or pursue a GED. TRIAD saw its true potential as an incubator. 

We wanted learners to feel like they were going to a workplace where they were respected and expected to succeed. So we designed the AEC as a professional co-working space, rather than a classroom. There's a reception desk, individual and shared work stations, a kitchenette, and outdoor spaces designed to facilitate a wide range of learning and communication styles. The result is a facility that allows people to learn in their own way, and helps each other succeed.

Yankee on High

Stewardship is preserving a neighborhood’s history while contributing to its future.

In 2014, TRIAD architects completed the adaptive reuse of the historic Yankee Trader Building in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The building, constructed circa 1900, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural contribution to the North Market Historic District.

TRIAD, who anchors the 2nd floor, adapted the office lobby into a classic cocktail bar, Denmark. The 1st floor features a restaurant and the upper floors were crafted into 11 luxury apartments. The building itself is situated between Columbus’ vibrant High Street and the bustling North Market.

Since the refurbishment, the building has been showcased as a symbol of Columbus’ renaissance and example of how to infuse modern amenities into historic preservations.