Jeff Pongonis - Outside In

When you walk through the main gates of Huntington Park, the picturesque view of center field might make you stop and marvel. The view of the diamond that brought on these feelings is no coincidence–it was carefully planned out by landscape architect and urban designer Jeff Pongonis.

“We really wanted to try to integrate the ball park into the neighborhood,” says Pongonis.  “We want to make it as transparent as possible, but while still providing a environment that is welcoming.  It’s something that we think we did with the two main entrances on Neil Avenue.”

Pongonis has been creating welcoming environments for MSI Design since his graduation from the landscape architecture program at Ohio State.  He’s worked on many projects in Columbus, including numerous areas of the arena district such as Huntington Park and the adjacent Buggyworks building. Pongonis, originally interested in becoming a classic architect, was drawn into landscape architecture and urban design after seeing the program at OSU, but had an interest in open spaces long before.

“I was lucky in that my family did a lot of traveling while growing up,” says Pongonis.  “I loved the outdoors and was kind of drawn to outdoor spaces.”

After living in Buenos Aires for a quarter while in school and making frequent trips to Washington D.C., he saw how important urban design was for a city.  He ended up staying in Columbus, putting his fingerprints all over some of the most important spaces in the city.  Currently, Pongonis is working on the redevelopment of the City Center area and the mixed-use Grandview Yard project.

“As a landscape architect, I try to manage the places and spaces in-between,” says Pongonis. “It’s all about understanding a site and features of surrounding a project.”

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