East Meets West In Ohio

When Arata Isozaki speaks of east meeting west in his new building for COSI, a science center in Columbus, Ohio, he's speaking strictly in local terms. For his third commission in the United States, the acclaimed Japanese architect wanted to bridge two aspects of the Midwestern city. On the site, in a bend of a river, stood an old Beaux-Arts building, which he incorporated into his design. "That side of the center would be facing east, to the old European side of the city," he says. "The other side would face the newer, Western part of the city." For that side, Isozaki came up with a remarkably innovative form: a dramatic 960-foot- long canoe-shaped structure, wrapped in neat slices of precast concrete.