New wing donated Columbus Museum of Art

Keisha Burley

Michael Bongiorno, director and designer for architecture company DesignGroup, presented a lecture for the new addition for the Columbus Museum of Art at Tri-Towers Friday morning.

Not only did Bongiorno educate students about the many improvements made to the museum by building the wing, but he described each and every step the group had to take in order to complete the project.

“Going into this, we established five major needs,” Bongiorno said. “These needs were things the group felt the museum had to have in order to operate effectively and efficiently.

DesignGroup is a Columbus-based firm recognized for its sustainability and preservation within architecture. This specific project focuses on the museum’s request for an addition be made to the museum in honor of donor Margaret M. Walter.

The new Margaret M. Walter Wing began construction more than two years ago. This project was the last phase in a three-phase renovation of the museum.

Bongiorno also stressed how important it is to consider the surrounding area when designing an addition.

“Connectivity is a huge part of this,” he said. “We had to make sure what we were doing wasn’t going to destroy the façade (an exterior part of the building but not the front) of the original building.”

He then went through the process of picking the materials for the building and how the group thought these materials would positively impact the design and durability of the building.

Equipped with wooden floors— sturdy enough to allow automobiles to drive across them— and hang points in the ceiling, allowing pieces of art weighing up to a ton, to be suspended in the middle of the room. Bongiorno said the wing is durable enough for many different types of artwork.

Other new features of the addition include a new walkway to the back entrance of the museum, glass walls that allow for outside pedestrians to look inside, an improved sculpture garden and an improved café.

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