Online Education

Schools are looking different these days, and at the forefront of this new trend in education is the on-line classroom. What would be better fitting, then, than to have their offices look straight out of tomorrow?

Renovating a shuttered 1970’s era Mall included a new main entrance and signage, gaining much needed street visibility while providing a focal point for the rest of the site’s overhaul. The main doors were updated with glass and 4’ sidelights while on-brand green, blue, white and silver sweeps through the rest of the conversion on the interior.

Nvironment teamed up with KLH and SMBH engineers to turn the former Southland Mall into the main campus for this online school and their students. The 22,000 square feet of offices needed to be kid-friendly for orientations, enrollment, and other occasions while still suited for the needs of the full time staff. We designed vignettes to mimic a dining room, kitchen, and living room with floor to ceiling glass panels highlighted with alphabet graphics separating the spaces. The orientation experience was created so new students can better envision what to expect when they return home.

In addition, the admissions suite boasts an open workspace with lounge area for informal meetings. Floor to ceiling glass have been added to provide privacy with visibility from the reception area. The lobby is fresh and vibrant with natural wood flooring reminiscent of school gymnasiums and a mix of bench seating, tables and chairs to accommodate families and guests of every age. A striped vinyl accent in the floor, and LED strips in the reception desk, highlight where to sign in with future-focused detail while transparent acoustic ceiling ‘clouds’ suspended across the space keep the attitude of the lobby optimistic.

We liberally perforated the building with exterior windows and new entry to follow the daylighting used in the rest of the campus. A fusion of cool wood tones and natural finishes, floor to ceiling glass walls, metal accents, and sliding wood barn door make this balanced space rich with texture. With the disparity between mall halls and office halls, we corrected the gap between walls for the right feel while capturing back real estate for the offices.

Project Details

  • Client: Online Education
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio
  • Year: 2016


Even the parking lot was given a face-lift. To hit home the idea of campus, we installed grass islands, trees and a sidewalk surrounding the entire building. Any remnant of shopping mall has graduated carving out a piece of the future from the defunct shopping center.

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27 East Russell Street | Suite 300 |
Columbus, Ohio 43215