Another Circle is a new public space for Mill Race Park in Columbus, Indiana. Its 2,800 pieces of salvaged limestone are organized to create a large 3.5 acre field of activity. This rough circle contains a diffuse programming of spaces for outdoor recreation; a loose gathering of function inside a scattering of stone.
The limestone pieces are salvaged from a local mill in Bloomington Indiana, Bybee Stone, and are then placed, stacked or arrayed to create a theater, a beach, a riverfront and areas for games and relaxation.
Mill Race Park underwent a substantial renovation in 1994 by landscape architect Michael van Valkenburgh and architect Stanley Saitowitz. The large circular lake by Van Valkenburgh combined with the architectural pavilions by Saitowitz each sensitively respond to their site and posed a significant challenge for this temporary project, namely how to design something for a park that already has a strong formal and architectural presence.
The response is a loose field of material that works between existing conditions and proposes a way to intensify what is already there. Another Circle captures a vehicular road and the People Trail, an extensive walking path around the city. It also connects the round lake to the surrounding Flatrock River. This intensity of circulation combined with the deliberate placement of salvaged material make for a new public landscape for Indiana that is integrated into public infrastructure and also enjoyed as a new attraction in the park.
It also provides a solution for the vast amount of salvaged limestone prevalent in Indiana, a beautiful natural resource that is integral to the state’s history and character. How discarded material gets a second life and allows the community to be part of a larger collective construction is the true ambition of Another Circle.
The construction process was completely paperless. The information about the location, stack type and size was transmitted to a smart phone on site. With the aid of a GPS receiver the site crew located and stacked the stones. The exact composition of the stacks, the sculptural forms were left up to the craftsmen.