If you’ve ever marveled at UC’s Richard E. Lindner Athletic Center — the one with the concrete lattice pattern abutting Nippert — you’ve marveled at a glaserworks building.
In fact, the Downtown-based Cincinnati architecture firm has designed numerous alluring structures throughout the region, including the aforementioned athletic center as well as UC’s Engineering and Applied Sciences building, 312 Walnut, New Riff Distillery, the Trinity Lofts in OTR, and Pendleton’s brand-spankin’-new Ziegler Park.
We sat down to talk all things architecture with Lynn Wyrick, who joined glaserworks in 2002.
Cincinnati Refined: What inspired you to become an architect?
Lynn Wyrick: A tug-of-war between left and right sides of the brain combined with the need to do something I felt was worthwhile. I’ve always enjoyed the rigors of math and science and the disciplined methodology of scientific problem solving. I was an engineer before becoming an architect. At the same time, I loved the less tangible aspects of art, the emotional and abstract. Architecture combines these interests, the technical and the artistic, while having the potential to profoundly affect our lives for the better.
CR: Are you a native of Cincinnati?
LW: I’m not. I moved here 15 years ago. I’d been working abroad for several years when my wife and I decided to move back to the States. She was an archaeologist working at the site of ancient Troy, an excavation co-sponsored by the University of Cincinnati. It made sense for her to be near UC to continue post-excavation work. I started at glaserworks and have been here ever since. We’re large enough that there’s a real diversity of talent and personalities but small enough that we support each other’s projects. It’s very open, collaborative, and conducive to good design.
CR: What projects are you most proud of working on at glaserworks?
LW: I’m most proud of the projects for Cincinnati Public Schools. There are so many obligations and rewards in school design. They have to be conducive to — and, ideally, inspire — learning. Beyond the students and staff, schools frequently serve as community centers, so they have to address the needs of the larger neighborhood. As urban schools, they have a responsibility to reinforce and improve the fabric of the city.
I’m also proud to have worked on Ziegler Park. The park has been heavily used since opening day, and that’s great to see. Clearly there was a real need for this kind of public space in the community. It’s also encouraging to see the park sparking revitalization in the immediate neighborhood.
CR: What were some of the challenges in creating an attractive open space?
LW: Maybe just the sheer number of individuals and entities involved in bringing a public project to fruition, especially considering the diverse, and sometimes conflicting, interests.
In the case of Ziegler Park, the owners comprise 3CDC (the developer) and the City of Cincinnati, as well as the city’s Recreation Commission and Park Board. There is a steering committee composed of various neighborhood councils, chambers of commerce and associations. From a design standpoint, glaserworks managed the overall team while designing the pool complex. Human Nature, Inc. was responsible for the overall master plan and park and landscape design. PWWG Architects designed the garage. Each firm employed multiple specialist consultants.
Turner Construction oversaw the building of the park and the myriad trade contractors required. There are numerous state and local regulatory agencies that review design, construction and operation. Finally, there are the individuals, the people who live and work in the neighborhood, for whom the park was designed. They were involved from the beginning in the form of public workshops held to seek their opinions and identify their needs and desires. Their contributions are inextricably tied to the design and ultimate success of the park.
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For more information about glaserworks, visit their website.