Greater Columbus Convention Center

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Greater Columbus Convention Center
The Greater Columbus Convention Center is a convention center located in downtown Columbus, Ohio, United States, along the east side of High Street. The convention center was designed by Peter Eisenman, constructed in 1993, and expanded in 1999. Property management company SMG oversees day-to-day operations of the 1,700,000-square-foot (158,000 m 2) facility, including 426,000 square feet (39,600 m 2) of exhibit space, two ballrooms, and 61 meeting rooms.

  • 1989 - Design Competition (won by Peter Eisenman)
  • 1993 - Convention center opened to the public
  • 1999 - $81 million, 300,000-square-foot (28,000 m 2) expansion begins
  • 2001 - Expansion is completed

Major Events
On the morning of January 9, 2008 a major water main break was detected, possibly beneath the building. Officials from the Columbus Division of Fire were concerned that part of the building, including the main hall, might collapse due to structural failure. It was soon determined, however, that the building was not in any danger.

Annual Expositions
  • Arnold Sports Festival (last exposition: March 4”“7, 2010)
  • Columbus International Auto Show (last exposition: March 9”“18, 2009)
  • Origins Game Fair
  • Ohayocon

Exhibition Halls

Dimensions & Specifications

While the Columbus Convention Center is considered an outlandish design to many, the true plan developed by Eisenman was limited by money. Because of this, the original materials and finishes desired were cheapened to fit within the budget of the project. What resulted was a series of interesting geometries with little architectural development. In an attempt to tame the large volume, Eisenman created a series of separate pavilions on the High Street facade, predictably canted at odd angles. These pavilions were intended to echo the rhythm of the brick facades on the opposite side of the street. The metallic colors originally proposed for the pavilions would have lent greater definition, but the pavilions are nonetheless blank. These pavilions initiate long, curving volumes which extend back to the truck loading docks along the rear. These volumes were designed to resemble trains in a trainyard from overhead. Along the street facade these volumes coincide with meeting rooms, the grand ballroom, and eating facilities. In the main exhibition space, however, they simply run above the supporting trusses without regard to the structural or spatial grid below. The general plan of the convention center is quite simple and functional. A major circulation spine runs from the parking lot through the complex to a pedestrian bridge which crosses a series of railroad tracks leading to the Hyatt Regency and shopping areas beyond. Most of the meeting rooms and offices are located on the High Street side of the spine, while the opposite side is dominated by the gargantuan exhibit area. This spine extends up to the roof level, with skylights bringing natural light directly into the interior corridor. Balconies overlooking the space from the meeting room side create a series of intersecting viewpoints. These are further enhanced by the level change in the circulation spine; from the connecting bridge over the railroad tracks where one descends a bank of escalators which slowly reveals the complex spatial nature of this central spine.

Hall Name ft 2 Dimensions (ft x ft) Seating Capacity Booths Overhead Clearance Battelle Hall 90,000 207 x 314 / 207 x 120 7,500 321 33' Hall C 98,000 270 x 360 8,000 530 30' Hall D 118,000 330 x 360 8,000 630 30' Hall E 61,980 298 x 208 302 30' Hall F 45,660 207 x 237.5 206 30' Hall C & D 216,000 600 x 360 16,000 1,160 30' Hall E & F 118,900 505 x 237.5 687 30'