Design for Innovation


Interview with Tom Schnell

CompuServe was a project that was consistently spread out for a number of years. “It gave us work for a really long time because it was so many different things,” Tom said. A friend and previous client of Tom’s introduced him to the owner of the company, Jeff Wilkins because Jeff wanted Tom to design his house. “We got this job because of a house!” Tom exclaimed with a pause after each word because he couldn’t keep his laughter in. Obviously Tom was asked to do work with Compuserve and he gladly accepted. 

First, they expanded the Data Center in Dublin. Next was a Master Plan for CompuServe Arlington. It was done over multiple years and multiple buildings. To connect the first two buildings, they built a bridge over the road. For the next addition, they had to figure out how to simultaneously work around and incorporate that bridge for more office space as well as food services. In the next addition, they added an enclosed courtyard atrium to allow for light to come in.

“I really don’t know how we got it all done, but we did, and the client kept asking us back. We were lucky,” Tom said. “Last I heard Tree of Life was trying to make it into a school, but there were issues with zoning, so it’s only for higher education. For now.”

1980 Pop Culture Facts

Picture it: Columbus, 1980. 2,500 runners gather for the first Columbus Marathon and Wandel & Schnell, Architects move their studio to West Long Street. Big Columbus year. In the rest of the country, people were mourning the death of John Lennon after he was shot outside his apartment in New York. They gathered around their television watching CNN 24 hours a day, because CNN was giving the news 24 hours a day (the first news station to do that). Millions were also tuning in to watch “Dallas” to find out who shot J.R. For the kiddies, The Fox and the Hound was released to teach kids that friends are found in the most unlikely people and places. Life lessons for everybody.