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Columbus, Indiana, Launches Design Biennial to Highlight Modern Architecture Heritage

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Exhibit Columbus will feature site-specific installations

Columbus, Indiana is something of a hidden gem when it comes to modernist architecture. The sleepy midwestern city is home to more than 70 modernist landmarks and a rich design legacy that's less well known than glitzier centers like Chicago or New York.

But supporters of a new biennial and architecture competition hope to change all that, and put the spotlight on Columbus' incredible architecture, such as iconic Miller House and other buildings designed by the likes of Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, and Harry Weese.

Launched by the non-profit Landmark Columbus, the biennial Exhibit Columbus will feature site-specific installations responding to the city's design heritage.

The festivities kick off this fall with a symposium featuring Deborah Berke, Will Miller, Robert A. M. Stern, and Michael Van Valkenburgh. This event will also launch the first J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Competition, a project awarding five design teams the honor of building temporary installations inspired by one of five historic city sites. Proposals from ten invited finalists will be exhibited during the fall symposium, with the five winning structures set up in time for the 2017 biennial.

The 2017 Exhibit Columbus will continue to take shape over the next year, and include ten additional installations, as well as programming involving local design and community groups.

"Exhibit Columbus will encourage visitors to explore the design legacy of Columbus while re-energizing the community around the potential to realize new designs in Columbus," said Richard McCoy, director of Landmark Columbus. "This innovative program is a model that talks about the importance of place and community — nationally relevant themes."

Columbus, Indiana, a Modernist Mecca, Updates Historic Preservation Efforts [Curbed]

The Modern Architecture of Columbus, Indiana, Through the Eye of a Local Lensman [Curbed].