Is Columbus ready to be the next Chicago, or even New York when
it comes to design? Jonathan Barnes, of Jonathan Barnes
Architecture Firm, seems to think so. Upon entering Barnes' downtown
office, you clearly see the firm's expertise in experimenting with
interesting materials and contemporary design. From the light fixture
bouquet of bulbs imported from Holland to the entire wall of the conference
foom actually opening like giant, sideways blinds to the architectural
camouflage from Germany hanging as curtains over a bookshelf,
Barnes' firm is always experimenting with fun, new ways to use
A native of Columbus, Barnes attended Miami University and holds a
graduate degree from Harvard. Soon after beginning his career with
a firm in Chicago, Barnes found himself drawn toward an international
experience in architecture. "I arrived in Milan with just two suit·
cases, no job and the idea of staying for a few months," he recalls.
Barnes ended up working for three years at one of the best architecture
firms in Italy. Eventually he brought his newfound European point
of view to Columbus and opened his own architecture firm.
Influenced by modern European architecture, Barnes is pioneering
the contemporary trend here in Columbus, continually pushing for
edgier designs. MWe're trying to create excitement about the architecture
here in Columbus by taking risks with design and being different;
we want people to visit Columbus just to see the architecture
of a new building."
With the current trend toward more downtown housing, Barnes is
beginning to realize some of his contemporary designs for city living.
~Ilove the potential in Columbus to grow and do interesting projects,"
he says. "Once everyone starts to accept the edgier style and make
it more well-known, then change will begin to take place and edgy
won't be so different."