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3rd Street

Interstate 46

6 e4

s Indiana Downtown Columbu


st ter


Interstate 46 244,589

Arboretum/Botanic Garden


Children’s/Youth Museum


Nature Center


The first peek The working conservation labs are the first exhibit a visitor sees upon entering the museum. Centrally located, this light filled space puts conservation workers and museum artifacts on display. Visible from various points throughout the museum, the conservation labs are a living and breathing exhibit.


10,000 people

Sub Basement Plan 0 4 8

General Museum

A place for trains, cars, and hanging exhibits This exhibit has ceiling heights ranging from 12 to 36 feet in order to accommodate objects of all sizes and types, including hanging displays (such as an exploded axiomatic of a diesel engine) and parts of a train. Visitors can enter the exhibit through either the standard elevator/stair combination or a ramp that wraps around the perimeter of the exhibit space.


4 Industrial Innovation Catwalk

A place for viewing and research This exhibit displays models and drawings of buildings in Columbus Indiana produced by well renowned architects such as Eero Saarinen. Models are displayed near the glass windows allowing visitors in the lobby below to look up and get a sneak peak of this exhibit.

5 Labs from Observation Bridge

Bird’s eye view Visitors of the museum browsing through the art and architecture exhibits can access a catwalk that gives them a bird’s eye view of the industrial innovation exhibit below.

Working with Daylight

Basement Plan

32 feet

0 4 8



32 feet

Historic House/Site


Fitting into the Context


Ambient versues direct The natural light quality and type varies throughout the museum depending on the needs of the exhibits. Daylight enters from skylights (which are either translucent or transparent) and side windows with opaque operable louvers that can open or close. Two examples of contrasting lighting conditions can be seen in the Industrial Innovation Exhibit and Architectural Archives. The Industrial Innovation Exhibit (a collection of engines and cars), is lit using mostly direct daylight that shines in through a series of side windows and a large overhead skylight. On the other hand, the Architectural Archives (a collection of models and drawings) is lit through a series of translucent skylights that line the edge of the room, filling the exhibit with a diffuse ambient light.


What makes science museums so much more popular than art and history museums? If the proposed museum for Columbus Indiana would be a hybrid between art and history, what could be done to increase visitor attendance and improve the museum’s chance for survival?



Who actually visits museums An additional survey conducted by Reach Advisors asked 40,000 museum going households an assortment of questions ranging from who they are to their likes and dislikes about certain museum types. The survey found that most individuals who visit art and history museums are over the age of 50. Children’s Museums 11% of respondents over age 50

But Columbus Indiana does not have a very large population over 50, in fact the city’s population of approximately 39,000 people consists primarily of individuals between the ages of 25 and 54. 16,916 The fact that most individuals who visit art and history museums are over the age of 50 does not bode well for an art history museum hybrid establishing itself in Columbus Indiana. How do

reeves exhibit 2026 sqft

flat storage 3953 sqft

industrial innovation exhibit 2950 sqft


cummins engine exhibit 2137 sqft

First Floor Plan

noblitt-sparks exhibit 1466 sqft

0 4 8


Second Floor Plan

32 feet

0 4 8


hvac 6491 sqft

open to below industrial design exhibits



open to below

mechanical 1231 sqft

columbus art collection 2565 sqft

55-59 60-64 65-74 75-84


future expansion


open to below vertical hvac stack


Storage is an important aspect of any museum and I wanted to be sure that

Science and technology museums thrive primarily because they’re hands-on and relevant to everyday life. People enjoy science and technology exhibits because they’re interesting, easily understood, and by the end of the day people actually feel like they’ve learned something. How can we take some of these characteristics and implement them into an art and history museum without making the exhibits false or compromising the integrity of such a museum?

Program for MADii I approached this project with a set number of goals in mind, all of which revolved around this

Most museums today consist of two parts: the public and pre-planned exhibits or “front of house”, and the hidden internal workings or “back of house”. While “the back of house” is typically the same size or larger than the “front of house”, it is rarely seen by those outside the institution. The typical museum is organized using a 25-25-25-25 scheme according to the book Museum Basics by Timothy Ambrose and Crispin Paine. 25%




Support Services Conservation labs, loading areas, research etc.

Collection/Storage Conditioned storage for artifacts

Displays/Exhibits Conditioned space for public viewing of artifacts

Reception/Visitor Spaces Cafe, shops, bathrooms, public hallways etc.


6000 square feet

idea of a central, light filled core that was the “stage set” for the museum. From the beginning I grasped the idea of having three physical “divisions” for reasons that were both conceptual and practical. A public wing for non-ticketed services – services that the museum staff might want to make available during the afterhours. A ticketed wing for the exhibits. And a “back of house” section for that central, light filled stage set that would display all the inner workings of the museum.

What if the “back of house”, the part of the museum that consists of conservation labs, research, tagging, and other support services was transparent. What if visitors could watch as an antique diesel engine was unloaded from the truck, documented, moved into the conservation lab, disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled before being moved down into storage or an exhibit? What if docents explained the process at the same time – informing visitors about both the museum’s artifact processing as well as the artifact’s history? Now wouldn’t that be interesting?




8 feet

Ceiling Plan





8 feet

ticketing desk

Food Loading Dock Cafe Shop Multi-Purpose Room Administration - Offices - Meeting Room

“Back of House”

conservation lab

security room

MADii had enough of it; not just for now, but also for later. MADii was designed to have a little over 8,000 square feet of storage for both flatwork and objects. An additional 8,000 square feet of excavated space could converted into storage and used if the museum expanded or added additional artifacts to their collection.


loading dock

(large mechanical)

1200 sqft

ramp to lowered platform

conservation lab observation platform

crating and processing 734 sqft

conservation lab (small mechanical)

1200 sqft unloading area 605 sqft

15,500 square feet

22,100 square feet


Of Cars and Loading Docks

Direct Light

conservation lab (paper and models)

1200 sqft

The parking garage When designing the building I thought it would be nice for the museum to have its own dedicated parking, rather than relying on the availability of street parking. While the parking garage became quite a stretch due to limiting factors such as the building height and site width, it ended up working. Parking is available underground for those who work for the museum, those with disabilities, and a few visitors. A staircase and elevator take visitors up from the parking garage and into the public wing of the building.

Industrial Exhibits - Cummins Engines - Reeves & Co. - Noblitt-Sparks - Industrial Objects Art Exhibits - Columbus Art Collection - Architectural Archives View Points - Entrance Viewing Hall - Industrial Exhibit Walkaround - “Back of House” Observation Platform - Industrial Exhibit Catwalk

Artifact Loading Dock Security Room Unloading Area Crafting and Processing Isolation Room Conservation Labs - Paper and Models - Small Mechanical - Large Mechanical Storage - Flat - Object HVAC Mechanical

open to below ticketing lobby


Storage for now and storage for later

The Three Parts

Floor Plan

vertical coat check

Storage, Storage, and More Storage

Reworking Museums.


architectural archives 2269

to first floor


















10-14 15-19

Lighting the conservation labs The conservation labs and service spaces in the center of the building were designed to serve as a light-filled core for the museum. While having ample amounts of light in those spaces was important to achieve the desired experience for the workers and the visitors, protecting the artifacts within those spaces from damaging direct light was also important. The roof of the conservation lab is composed of a 3 foot by 3 foot panelized double glass skin; both skin layers are translucent panels insulated with aerogel. Between the two glass skins is a three foot airspace that can be vented to remove excess heat. The result is a space that is filled with ambient light. The brightness of the conservation labs contrasts against the darker hallway and lobby spaces, naturally directing the attention of visitors to this exhibit.


industrial exhibit catwalk

ticketed lobby


32 feet

parking garage




fire exit

future expansion

we make an art and history museum more attractive to a younger audience? What exactly are younger people looking for in a museum? Perhaps we should take some characteristics of one of the most popular museums around – science and technology museums.

object storage 4489 sqft

fire exit


Science Museums 28% of respondents over age 50



History Museums 65% of respondents over age 50

future expansion

Instead of choosing to create a standalone building that broke the line, I decided it was best to continue what the other buildings started. MADii helps visually hold the line of Washington Street, while at the same time pulling in discreetly to form a sheltered arcade for pedestrians. The rectangular masses of the building were inspired by the simple forms of the buildings on Washington Street, thereby allowing MADii to fit with the context.



Art Museums 65% of respondents over age 50


Using MADii to hold the line The buildings on Washington Street, with the exception of Irwin Bank, have no setback from the sidewalk. The main street architecture of Columbus is typical of many small American towns – flat vertical facades with restaurants, boutiques, and retail at the street level and with offices and residences above. Nearly all of the buildings on Washington Street visually “hold the line.”

Front row seating The conservation labs can be viewed from a ramp lowered down into the space. This observation bridge allows visitors to get a more “inside” view of the labs and unloading/crating areas without having to worry about the security and sanitary rules regarding these spaces.

Chairs and tables are also made available to allow visitors to take out blue prints, drawings, and other flatwork to look over them as they please.


Specialized Museum

History Museum

3 Architectural Archives and Exhibit

The museum lobby was designed with the intent that visitors would have a visual connection to all the exhibits, this eases way finding and allows people to peek into all the exhibit spaces.


Art Museum

2 Inside the Industrial Innovation Exhibit


e nt


Natural History/Anthropology



t rs


This is an educational experience, a unique experience, and dare I say a much needed experience. Because a museum should not just be a censored, set-up display, but an educational, enlightening, and entertaining one.

1 Conservation Labs from Ticketing Lobby


Science/Technology Museum


The Experience.

In this place, the viewer has the opportunity to watch as an artifact is unloaded from the truck, documented and then stored. It is also in this place, that one can watch as a diesel engine or grandfather clock is dissected, repaired, and then reassembled.


8th Street

Brown Street

what was once concealed behind closed doors and to expose it. I do not see the “back of the house” as a private affair; I see it as a play on a theatrical stage, one that is ever changing, one that is there to educate and to enlighten.

The most popular museums According to the American Association of Museum’s “2006 Museum Financial Information Survey”, the most popular museums of our day, in terms of average annual attendance, are zoos and science/technology museums, whereas the least popular are historic houses and history museums.

The site for MADii fronts on Washington Street and is bordered by both 7th and 6th Street. Washington Street is at the heart of the city’s current downtown revival plan and is most noted for its restaurants, offices, and small stores. The property that this site is located on is at the edge of the developed portion of Washington Street; therefore, MADii would, in a sense, be sitting on a parcel of land that could eventually become a “gateway into downtown Columbus.”

Lindsey Street

turning the guts of a system inside-out – to take

Museums Today.

11th Street


My scheme is a series of worlds that revolve around one central heart beat… It is about experience... it is about that initial moment… it is about


e re St

Why does the “back of the house” have to be concealed? Why does there have to be the great dividing line between the “public” and what some consider to be the “private.” This is the premise of my project, my underlying question and conceptual basis.

Location of MADii The site is located in Columbus, Indiana and is currently serving as an additional parking lot for the Irwin Bank. Only half of the parking lot is taken up by the site, the remaining half is assumed to be eventually developed. The site is approximately 37,000 square feet.


A design proposal by M. Yvonne Hidle; Architecture 401, Gregory Palermo; Iowa State University

Context and Planning



Museum of Art, Design, and Industrial Innovation

Columbus, Indiana.

Washington Street



isolation room 398 sqft

Ambient Light

public lounge

loading dock

The loading docks Like the parking garage, implementing a suitable loading dock was difficult. An inclined loading dock leading into storage was infeasible and went against the core idea of having people watch as artifacts were unloaded. Eventually, a two alley scheme was developed – one for cars and one for service trucks. MADii has two loading docks in their own dedicated service lane. The artifact loading dock is completely sheltered allowing workers to move pieces out of the truck and into the museum without worrying about damage due to outside conditions. An additional, smaller and unsheltered loading dock is available for small trucks to unload food and other goods into the shop and café.

lounge 490 sqft

cafe 1169 sqft

multi-purpose room 1408 sqft

shop 938 sqft

office 200 sqft

office 203 sqft

office 150 sqft

meeting room 381 sqft

direct light

ramp to observation platform closet fire stair

hallway direct light



diffused light

elevator covered loading dock hallway

isolation room

crating and processing

security room



industrial exhibits

diffused light

Elevation: East 0 4 8


32 feet

Elevation: North 0 4 8


32 feet

Elevation: South 0 4 8


parking garage

conservation lab

crating and processing

observation hall

parking garage ramp

parking garage

parking garage

Section: North 0 4 8

32 feet mechanical


Section: West 0 4 8


32 feet

storage hallway



32 feet

Wall Section 0 1



8 feet

Wall Elevation 0 1



8 feet

MADii Presentation Board  

Presentation board for MADii (Musuem of Art, Design, and Industrial Innovation), an undergraduate architecture project by M. Yvonne Hidle.

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