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The Ohio State University

Ohio Union

Project Description

Moody Nolan was intimately involved with The Ohio State University’s plans for a new student union from the earliest stages of the project. Working closely with the University to prepare a preliminary analysis and feasibility study. Later, as the project gained momentum and shifted from conceptual to actual, the firm won the commission as Executive Architect working with design architect Michael Dennis. At the end of the Design Development phase, the firm assumed full responsibility for all aspects of design and production.

Project Stats


Columbus, Ohio

Year of Completion


Square Footage


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The Process

Throughout the planning, programming and design process a concerted effort was made to include the broadest possible range of participants. A series of focus-group sessions was held, bringing in representatives from the University, the student body, alumni and the local community and allowing them all to have input. In addition, a university-wide questionnaire was published in an effort to draw even more involvement from the student population. The combined result of these sessions and surveys was instrumental in determining the design direction of the new Ohio Union.

The new Ohio Union is truly a groundbreaking facility. It is one of the largest student unions in the nation. Its wide ranging accommodations include a food court in addition to a number of stand-alone food/beverage venues; a concert hall and large and small performance spaces; a massive ballroom capable of innumerable configurations; state-of-the-art conference and meeting rooms; and a large and extremely well appointed suite of student organization offices. All of these are supported by a wide range of lounge, social, and gathering spaces that are the key to a vital and multi-functioning student union.