2020 CRANaward Entries


1112 Fort View Place

John Senhauser Architects

Project Team: John Senhauser; Steve Bostwick; Jim Simon

Consultant: Steven Schaefer Associates, Inc., structural

Consultant: H.C. Nutting Company, geotechnical

Contractor: Stewart Homes

Photographer: John Senhauser, FAIA

Sited at the end of the street on a steep slope surrounded by woods, 1112 Fort View Place looks out over the Ohio River from its dramatic perch on the edge of Mount Adams. Although modern in appearance, the project is actually a renovation of an existing single-story house that failed to meet the needs of a growing family.

By first adding out and then over the former structure, the new building completely encapsulates the old house. New spaces include additional bedrooms, a master suite, a family loft and a library. The existing structure was modified to contain the more social and public areas of the home. Openings between levels and double height spaces wrapped in glass interlock the new and old spaces, creating dramatic, sun-lit volumes. Finally, a sweeping terrace wraps the south façade, extending the living space and reaching out to the river and horizon beyond.

A set of five steel trusses supports the deck and addition above, resting on a network of concrete cribbing and piers that is anchored into the bedrock with steel tie-backs, providing a stable base for the house.

Completed in 1990, the house is still occupied by the original clients and has been very well maintained.


Terry Boling Architect

Project Team: Terry Boling: Designer and Principal

Production Team: Michael Rogovin, Stijn Van Woesel

Consultant: Structural Engineer: Don Roenker

Contractor: Damon Long- Design Build LLC

Photographer: Ryan Kurtz, Terry Boling, Karen Hughes

The project is a 4500 sf renovation and addition to an abandoned building in the historic Findlay Market area of Over-the-Rhine. Artichoke, a curated cookware retail space occupies the first floor, with two apartments above. The ground floor of the existing building was previously an awning shop, last used in the 1950’s, with the only access to the upper floors provided by an exterior steel stair. As the existing interior stair for the upper floors bifurcated the footprint of the building into small spaces, an exterior stair and balcony were developed to provide access and egress, an open floor plan, and generous terraces for the apartments above. The new steel balcony structure also provides sun shading for the exposed Southern facade. The project was subject to a high degree of scrutiny by the Historic Review Board due to the modern detailing and the use of perforated steel cladding at the stairs and balcony. The project has achieved LEED gold certification and has served as a catalyst for development on the block. The new storefront was designed using custom steel-plate box frames to negotiate the out-of-square construction of the existing storefront structure, providing a deep shadow-line between the new glazing and the existing cast iron columns.

Both of the apartments are organized around the existing window openings on the South façade, where enclosed spaces are pulled away from the South walls to create an uninterrupted flow of space. Cherry plywood walls and sliding doors define the 2nd floor apartment, while two-story spatial volumes define the 3rd floor unit.
In 2017, Artichoke was selected to participate in the Blink art celebration in Cincinnati. International graffiti artist D Face was commissioned by the organization to paint a 3 story mural on the blank South wall.


Vennemeyer Residence


Project Team: Andreas Lange, AIA

Consultant: Schaefer, Structural Engineer

Consultant: Bryant Hartke, Contractor

Photographer: PWWG

This modest addition transformed an awkward floor plan into fresher, more connected and light-filled home.

The existing home was built in the 1970s as part of a homebuilder-designed suburban neighborhood. The original house included a 15 ft x 15 ft wood paneled family room to the rear and a Master Suite addition to the side. Both areas were dark dead ends accessible only through single narrow doorways. These two appendages also created an odd exterior area that was used for tool storage and potting materials.

The new addition filled the awkward gap, transforming it into a multi-functional hub in the center of the home. During a typical day, the space functions as a private office with diffused light from the skylight above and views of the rear yard. During parties, the desk transforms into a bar for drinks and snacks, clearing up congestion from the nearby kitchen. Most importantly, the addition creates a circuit in the plan that allows children to run in circles and fill the house with life.

Cape Code Complete

ESM Architects

Project Team: Brad Ewing, Joel Swisher, Mark McConnell

Landscape Designer: Bill Ripley, Stride Studios

Contractor: Jim McGoff

Photographer: Ross Van Pelt, RVP Photography

An existing Cape Cod on a great site had some quirky plan features due to previous renovations including a master bedroom oddly located in a previous one-car garage and a front door that entered into the dining room. The owner’s desire was to provide and integrate a garage, capture some new bedroom space above the garage, and add a new master bedroom suite.

One other desire emerged during the process. The owner admitted a long-held wish for a swimming pool. So, a pool and terrace were designed into the space at the rear of the house as part of the outdoor living areas and landscape. Other new spaces included a guest suite above the garage, new powder room off the foyer, new laundry room and back hall, new wet bar and banquette, and new sleeping porch off the back of the master bedroom suite.

Adding the two-car garage to the right side and moving the front door one masonry opening over to create a true foyer helped solve some of the plan problems. The existing family room became the foyer, the new master bedroom fit in behind the new garage, and the space between the existing house and the new garage was the right size and scale for a new family room. This gathering space became a central hub for the entire first floor with both views and connection to the park-like setting of the rear yard.

Lookout House

drawing dept

Project Team: Rob Busch, Jessica Bruscato, Evonne Morales

Consultant: Jim Graham, Schaefer, Structural Engineer

Contractor: Damon Long, Design Build General Contractor

Photographer: Ross Van Pelt, RVP Photography

Amidst a neighborhood of large, traditional homes, this house lacked any special character or identity. A history of addition, modification, and ‘updates’ achieved nothing more than a conventional suburban home with mid-century aspirations.

A young family saw potential.

The family suspected that previous additions had been unsuccessful because they were not bold enough. The most recent addition, an over-large shed roof section, was neither practical nor useful to the family, to say nothing of its detailing. While formal, it was simultaneously oversized [from the exterior] and undersized [from the interior]. A half gable. A half gesture.

This would be the site of intervention.

A design strategy conscious of many project parameters, including the requirement to work within the existing footprint, was developed. A new volume, an extrusion of the existing vernacular massing, was manipulated to house the expanded program.

While the existing footprint of the house and its mumbled desires were generative design forces, the resulting volume makes no attempt to re-deploy the existing home’s vocabulary, even forgetting the good manners of simulating existing materials and apertures.

Finally. The unabashed expression of a specific efficiency of function and program.

Idiosyncratic and whimsical, an irrepressible spirit blossoms through the once lifeless and confused gray suburban house, expressing the energy of the young family who lives there.

Forest Hill

drawing dept

Project Team: Ron Novak, Evonne Morales

Consultant: Ray Brake, Advantage Group Engineering, Structural Engineer

Contractor: Hudepohl Construction

Photographer: Ross Van Pelt, RVP Photography

Avid gardeners and collectors, our clients, both designers, sought a house in which their collection of artifacts would feel as at-home as they did. Intuition led them to a colonial revival house and the untapped potential of its wooded parcel. Built in 1936, the house presented many features worth celebrating and preserving. However, the compartmentalized rooms of the first floor, which functioned previously as support spaces, were not amenable to family life and suffered from a shortage of natural light.

Seeking to re-connect with the site’s sloping topography, it was decided that the re-development of arrival and procession both across the site and through the house could be accomplished with an efficient addition and comprehensive renovation. The project hinged on the addition of an entry gallery with a large pyramidal skylight and French doors leading to the grounds beyond. Elsewhere, feature walls and trim were attentively designed, and exterior walls were freed of appliances and cabinetry to promote view and connection to new outdoor living terraces. Spaces are re-defined by custom screens and pivot doors that gradate from public to private – thoroughly of the 21st century, yet quietly integrated with the historicist room plan.

While the design ethos of the renovation honors and enhances the existing architecture, a sequence of subtle spatial moves provides new structure for the re-configured interior and exterior program, merging the two in a barrage of natural light. Highly complex “behind-the-scenes,” the thorough and rigorous restructuring of circulation allowed for the development of the entire site, creating a place that is sophisticated and social.

Concert House

drawing dept

Project Team: Rob Busch, Tess Hilgefort, Evonne Morales

Consultant: Steve Alexander, CCI Engineering, Structural Engineer

Contractor: Chip Glaser, Glaser Builder

Photographer: Ross Van Pelt, RVP Photography

The heart of this renovation project is an existing oversized great room which the owners, symphony musicians, envisioned as a performance space.

The existing compartmentalized first-floor plan was reconfigured to create an open and modern plan. A series of carefully composed small additions, clad in black, contain a new entry and stair, a second-floor master suite, and a pair of kids’ bedrooms. The new open floor plan, featuring the renovated great room, is now used for various musical performances.

At the second floor, a new rear-facing master suite addition cantilevers from the existing house to avoid the stress of new foundations near a significant oak tree. This strategy results in a treehouse-like perch; a retreat from the hectic life of musical performances and travel.

Standish Residence

Ryan Duebber Architect

Project Team: Ryan Duebber and April Applegate

Contractor: Templeton Building Company

Photographer: Ross Van Pelt / RVP Photography

Built in 1966, the Standish residence, stands as a sculptural gem in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield, Michigan. The brick used throughout the home matches the masonry that was utilized on many of the buildings at the nearby Cranbrook Academy of Art designed by Eliel Saarinen. The expansive great room space originally contained an in-ground pool. The outer wings surrounding the pool area contained the living and bedroom areas. These areas were originally separated from the stone pool deck by use of sliding patio doors. Additional doors also occurred on either side of the round fireplace at the kitchen. A counterweight system enabled metal shrouds to raise and lower independently to provide additional heating and ambiance. This newly purchased residence was in need of a major renovation to meet the homeowner’s modern aesthetic desires and unique functional requirements. The kitchen and dining areas were developed into a single unified space with seating for casual dining that centered itself on the refurbished sculptural fireplace. In the great room, the roof deck was insulated and drywalled. New light fixtures were incorporated to accent the space and to reduce its massive scale. A new fireplace and entertainment component were inserted to satisfy a functional request while providing a new focal point and privacy for the upstairs bedroom suite. The existing stone wall/ diving platform was lowered and extended to “contain” the living area while providing bar seating and a serving counter. Lastly, the master bedroom suite was rejuvenated by vaulting the existing ceilings and creating an open floor plan, which united the bathing, bedroom and closet functions.

Isle of Palms

ESM Architects

Project Team: Brad Ewing

Original Architecture: Laura Kass Middleton, The Middleton Group

Interior Designer: Theresa Morton

Contractor: Sam Lisi, Village Restoration & Custom Homes

Photographer: Sam Lisi, Village Restoration & Custom Homes

An update of a dated ocean front beach house became an opportunity to show the value of the “napkin sketch.” This submittal seeks to show the high value of the architect’s role in the creative design process by including the project’s early on-site hand drawings. These hand sketches set the design direction and heavily influenced the eventual solution. A 24-hour site visit to the fully gutted house with the owner became a collaborative session between architect, owner, interior designer and contractor to create a vision for what each interior space could become. The renovation was well underway to implement an exterior refresh with shell drawings by a local architect of record. These base plans included several key moves that greatly improved the new spaces-to-be. One of these was relocating a family room fireplace from the back wall to the side wall to open up the ocean view. A second decision in this room was to eliminate the two-story volume space so that a second floor den could be created with access to the new ocean decks. Also the first floor lanai was repurposed in thirds as breakfast room, covered porch, and master sleeping porch. Each of these moves and others laid the groundwork for the Cincinnati architect’s design “napkin sketches” and interior finishes that are shown here.

The interiors approach included unifying overall color and textures to complement the idyllic beach setting. On the exterior, the Cincinnati architect added a pair of twin hip roofed pavilions, not previously planned, over the ocean decks. These simple shapes provide much needed shade, add some architectural rhythm to the beach façade, and tap into our own architectural memory of the timeless forms of classic oceanfront shelters

Lakota Interior

drawing dept

Project Team: Rob Busch

Consultant: Steve Alexander, CCI Engineering, Structural Enginee

Contractor: The English Contractor and Bronzie Design Build

Photographer: Ross Van Pelt, RVP Photography

It happened again. What would otherwise have been a routine repair and maintenance project, escalated quickly into a design opportunity. Such is the fate of an architect-owned home.

Hastened by a pair of leaky doors, a broken refrigerator, two rotted windows, and an unruly squirrel infestation, this project’s time had come. Notwithstanding, or more likely because of, budget constraints, the architect arrived at a limited palette of materials and ‘moves’ that would promote multiple agendas – creating the most with the least.

The existing wood-clad chimney (squirrel haven) was removed and reconstructed to bias the living space, allowing for a higher utilization and greater functionality within the existing space. The new weathering steel firebox blocks the harsh western sun, provides much needed storage, and lends the living room a sense of warmth and repose.

A new fenestration design suggests that the space between the living room and dining room be preserved for circulation, while the upper window pattern promotes an ever-changing dynamic light and shadow play across the room and ceiling.

The new kitchen, contained within the footprint of its predecessor, continues the light play with a new horizontal window that changes to back-painted glass as it wraps the corner and becomes the backsplash. Gray stained cabinetry grounds and bookends the composition, terminating a bank of floating, reflective-white, infill, upper cabinets that shimmer with ghosts of trees. Cueing on the firebox, a weathering steel peninsula wrapper ties the opposing elements together.    No squirrels were harmed in the making of this project.

Ambleside Master Suite

drawing dept

Project Team: Rob Busch, John Hoebbel

Structural Engineer: Steve Alexander, CCI Engineering

Contractor: Joe Stewart Builders, LLC

Photographer: Ross Van Pelt

This master suite renovation was executed within the shell of a “contemporary” home. With existing amenities and décor befitting the original 1975 construction, the soaring roof lines and clerestory windows were preserved, but spaces were more efficiently apportioned for the current owners. Although an addition was not feasible, the owners requested a substantial increase in storage capacity. Specific effort was made to recapture as much under-utilized space as possible, including a portion of the unconditioned attic space over the garage.

Big change was achieved through several small and subtle, yet impactful choices.  With an emphasis on abundant natural light, new windows were strategically added to visually expand each space and to create a lofty, tree-house quality. The angular spaces and rigorous geometry were offset by a restrained, warm palette of materials that includes rift-sawn white oak casework and white walls to showcase the owners’ colorful, eclectic art collection. Acid-etched glass doors intentionally blur the boundary between primary and secondary spaces and allow light to pass from one room to another. Careful, flush mirror detailing wraps the bathroom walls and extends to the new window, bringing the tree canopy into the otherwise tight and sequestered space.

Covington Bath

Cynthia Williams Architect

Project Team: Cynthia Williams, AIA

Consultant: Gillian Thompson Glass – Stained Glass Fabricator

Consultant: Schaefer – Structural Engineer

Consultant: Switch – Lighting

Contractor: J. Hensley Services

Photographer: Dana Trilk and Kyle Smith

This project is the renovation of a master bath and closet in a traditional neo-classical home. While the original home was built circa 1909 and is in an historic neighborhood, the existing bath and closet were constructed in 1993 as part of an addition and renovation project completed by a previous owner with a different architect. Our client wanted better use of space in the bath, better storage in the dressing area, and an aesthetic more sympathetic to the style of the original house.

The wall between the existing bath and closet was removed to allow the two rooms to be re-configured. The new plan creates two linear spaces resulting in both existing windows giving natural light to the bath, and more wall space for storage in the closet.  This plan also allows the bath to be accessed directly from the bedroom without walking through the closet. The secondary access to the master suite from the existing hall was maintained.

Because the new plan bridges the original masonry structure and the wood framed addition with one space, challenges included misaligned subfloors and ceilings, as well as the need to reinforce the existing masonry exterior wall with steel bracing.

A significant detail of the project included custom designed leaded glass panels installed in front of the existing double hung windows to allow natural light while preserving privacy. These removable leaded glass panels “float” within the existing window openings via a simple square bend hook and screw eye system. To provide increased darkness for the window nearest the bedroom, a recessed shade was installed between the window and the glass panel.


BC Kitchen

Ryan Duebber Architect

Project Team: Ryan Duebber and April Applegate

Consultant: Advantage Group Engineers / Kyle Jenkins

Contractor: API Construction

Photographer: Ross Van Pelt / RVP Photography

The BC Kitchen remodel was driven by the client’s desire to not only create an open floor plan layout but also the challenge to reuse the existing five-year-old European laminate cabinetry. The new configuration was developed utilizing a symmetrical layout with a large central island which allowed 85% of the existing cabinets to be utilized. A new access point was provided adjacent to the living room to conceal the kitchen visually when entering the home. Existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts remaining were re-purposed for new perimeter cabinetry so that the finish was an exact match to the existing laminate veneer. The island cabinetry was all new with a closely matching finish and aluminum hardware to complement the existing. To reinforce the balanced plan layout, the window opening above the sink was enlarged to achieve a symmetrical window arrangement. The wall surface surrounding theses windows was clad with back-painted glass which also wraps the hood enclosure to create a clean minimalist integration. Based on the inability to match the existing laminate exactly, the flooring material was turned up to become the cabinet base. Similarly, the ceiling finish was turned down to cap off the top of the existing cabinets.


Pilot House Renovation

Ryan Duebber Architect

Project Team: Ryan Duebber and April Applegate

Consultant: Advantage Group Engineers / Kyle Jenkins

Contractor: Meyer Brothers and Sons

Photographer: Ross Van Pelt / RVP Photography

The Pilot House renovation design strategy focused on reworking the kitchen layout to increase work area while also opening the space to the adjacent foyer and dining areas. The existing doorway openings between rooms were quite narrow and not conducive for entertaining or family interaction. The homeowners were bothered by these disconnections and wanted to turn their space into a chef’s kitchen that would become a centerpiece for the home. Walls and doorways closing off the basement stair and foyer were removed to open the space and create a focal axis into the kitchen. The ceiling was vaulted, and a new 6-burner Wolf range was positioned at the end of this axis to anchor the space. In the dining room, new built-in cabinetry was incorporated to provide needed serving and storage space. Additional cabinetry frame the opening between the dining and the family room. These two pieces are connected overhead with shiplap siding which acts as a backdrop to the glass display shelving over the dry bar.

Riverview Kitchen

Square Inch Design

Project Team: Tess Hilgefort

Consultant: Don Justice Cabinetry

Contractor: J. Hensley Services

Photographer: Viktor Ramos

This kitchen renovation occupies the top floor of a building overlooking the Ohio River. The new homeowners’ wanted a more open kitchen that took full advantage of the river views. With this in mind, one of the first tasks was working with the building’s HOA to replace several sliding doors along the balcony. The design for new fixed glass windows complements the aesthetics of the existing building, but also maximizes the views out.

As with the exterior, streamlining and simplifying the interior while eliminating visual obstructions was of utmost importance throughout the renovation. As such, retractable shades are hidden in corresponding soffits and electrical outlets are hidden inside cabinets along the length of the island. Custom display shelves with a frosted glass back allow morning light to enter the kitchen while obscuring the view of an adjacent building, minimizing exterior distractions and focusing views on the river.

A 17’ peninsula dramatically anchors the kitchen, with a waterfall quartz counter on display to the adjacent dining room and living spaces. At the opposite end, an almost imperceptible, full-height pocket door divides the once isolated kitchen from an adjoining den. Linking the two spaces in this way creates fluid circulation through the unit while eliminating previous dead-end hallways.

Building restrictions required the existing plumbing and mechanical elements to remain in place. To deal with this, custom wall to wall cabinets were carefully placed to conceal pipes and duct work. With ample full-height storage, small kitchen appliances and clutter can be easily stowed away. A restrained palette of white (walls, cabinets, quartz counters) and rift-sawn oak heightens the minimalist aesthetic the client was after.

So while the main elements in this kitchen (range, sink, refrigerator) were forced to stay in place, the minimalist approach favored by the clients and architect results in a space that couldn’t feel more different.

The Stannary

Terry Boling Architect

Project Team: Terry Boling : Designer and Principal

Production Team: Michael Rogovin and Luis Sabatar

Consultant: Hub and Weber – Associate Architects for building permit only

Consultant: Don Roenker – Structural Engineer

Contractor: Damon Long – Design Build LLC

Photographer: Terry Boling, Ted and Vicki Leavitt, WCPO

The Stannary is a four-story, three-unit urban infill in the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati. The owners live in the third and fourth floor penthouse unit, and the remaining two floors are apartments. The site strategy was based on maintaining maximum street frontage on the Race Street facade and Alley garage, while slimming the plan to create courtyards to the South and North of the building to let in more light. All units have direct access to exterior space and terraces, and the 4th floor penthouse has a generous terrace overlooking Race street with a large, retractable glass wall opening to the kitchen and living area. There is another terrace facing East that is also accessible from the penthouse living area.

The entire project was subject to intense scrutiny by the historic review board as it reconciles strict historic guidelines with contemporary considerations of detail, material, and space. Two types of gray ironstone brick clad the principal facade- articulated by a stainless steel joint. Cement fiberboard rain screen cladding is used throughout the remainder of the building. The windows on the Race Street facade are created with custom steel plate frames, projecting out on the upper floor and receding at the ground level.

The guardrail for the upper terrace is articulated as a cornice element capping the brick volume, and is created from steel plate and perforated steel panels.

The project has achieved a LEED Gold certification.


Reztark Design Studio

Project Team: Brett Kratzer, Dean Lutton, Ryan Johnson, Corey Mai, C.J. Lindberg, Mike Jacobsohn, Mercedeh Namei, Christie Kratzer

 Structural Engineer: Shaefer Engineering

Landscape Architect: Gayle A. Frazer

Interior Designer: Village Green

Contractor: Turnbull-Wahlert Construction, Inc.

Photographer: Josh Beeman

The RED offers upscale living through a unique blend of apartments and amenities found nowhere else in the region. The building and master plan were designed to cultivate a walkable, mixed-use, multigenerational neighborhood on this former brownfield site. Building on the success of the adjacent senior living, rehabilitation, and pet resort facilities, The RED brought a new energy to the master planned development. Focusing on young professionals and empty nesters, The RED has continued to broaden and deepen the community. The eclectic design grew out of the owner’s desire to generate a unique vibrancy in the development which included providing a diverse mix of studio, one, and two-bedroom home options to provide for a broader range of residents. The building’s massing and materials pulled from the pallet of the surrounding community, while creating an arrangement that established an identity unique to The RED. This portion of the development created a centralized amenities package including a private courtyard pool, demonstration/teaching kitchen, controlled access garage, 24/7 fitness center, business lounge, conference center, 24-hour package lockers, concierge service, all-season entertainment pavilion with performance stage and outdoor kitchens. Strategically placed structured and street parking created opportunities for increased density and uses on the site and further enhanced the walkable urban feel of the project. The second phase, coming online now, includes an apartment-wrapped garage which provides parking to service the final phases of the project. A third apartment building is under construction and slated to open later this year. While the final phase, an upscale office building adjacent to Red Bank Expressway, will house a mix of restaurants and services for the community and public to enjoy and is currently in development.

The Boulevard at Oakley Station

Reztark Design Studio

Project Team: Brett Kratzer, Dean Lutton, Cliff Custer, Christie Kratzer

MEP Engineer: KLH Engineers

Structural Engineer: Thorson Baker & Associates

Landscape Architect: Martin Koepke Design

Interior Designer: Mitsch Design

Contractor: Flaherty & Collins Construction

Green Rater/Provider: Sol Developments

Photographer: Daniel Showalter, Josh Beeman

After having developed the masterplan for the Oakley Station development, Reztark was tasked to create a multi-family community within that development which blended the historic nature of the Oakley neighborhood into an emerging modern, mixed-use community. For The Boulevard, Reztark started with the owner’s previous suburban-focused building layout standards, but envisioned a more urban, pedestrian oriented plan. Establishing a street grid on this former industrial brownfield site, the development is arranged as an urban streetscape with the amenities building acting as the primary gathering space or town square. Pedestrian courtyards placed in-between buildings cultivate community among residents These people-centric spaces are arranged along terminating vistas, orienting the residents toward the central clubhouse building.

This Silver LEED Certified project isn’t only green but also includes many coveted amenities. They include two pools, gas grilling, fire pit, bocce ball court, billiards, cybercafé & lounge, fitness center with yoga & Pilates studio, movie screening lounge, and cycle lounge. The ground floor units are accessed primarily from the front sidewalk with generous wide stairs and front patios. This, along with the street parking, creates a sense of ownership and community, facilitating resident interactions at street level. Additional open parking, as well as tuck-under private garages, is provided around the back side of the buildings. The massing and materials were created as an interpretation of the longstanding forms of Oakley Square, the neighborhood’s historic business district and allow for upper level units to interact with the streetscape and pedestrian courts from the balconies above. The rich garden areas and landscaping bring a natural, comfortable feeling to this urbanesque environment.

The Alta Flats

New Republic

Project Team: Graham Kalbi, Greg Albright, BIll Hollenkamp, Erin Kline

Consultant: Schaefer Engineering

Consultant: Marque Engineering

Consultant: Amy Youngblood Interiors

Contractor: The Model Group

Photographer: Chris Von Holle

Alta Flats is a mixed-use historic renovation project that was completed in 2019. The building was built in 1885 and designed in the Queen Anne Style. It’s a contributing building in the Peebles Corner historic district of Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills neighborhood.

The rehabilitation project retains the original intended use and circulation of the historic design. The building includes a small commercial storefront at the primary elevation with updated apartment units incorporating modern amenities at the rear of the ground floor and on the second and third floors.

Alta Flats is one of several historic buildings that was rehabilitated as part of a larger project which aims to reduce the percentage of vacant buildings in Walnut Hills and provide opportunities for commercial growth and economic sustainability.

Duveneck Square Apartments

John Senhuaser Architects

Project Team: John Senhauser, FAIA; Ashley Hong; Andreas Lange, AIA

Consultant: Viox & Viox, civil engineer

Consultant: Schaefer, structural

Contractor: Messer Construction Co.

Photographer: Mackenzie Frank; Shawn Patrick Tubb, AIA

Duveneck Square is a mixed-use urban infill project located in the Downtown Commercial Historic District of Covington, Kentucky. The building’s massing and materials draw inspiration from the mix of residential, commercial, and industrial uses in the neighborhood. The two L-shaped buildings have a dark brick first floor, grey fiber cement panels clad the second and third floors, and dark horizontal corrugated metal panels complete the fourth floor. The articulated façade creates overhangs above the street-level unit entrances and directs views.

The project consists of two four-story wood-framed buildings that contain a total of 110 apartments, over 6500 sf of retail space, and 2000 sf of amenity space including a fitness room, club room, lobby lounge, and outdoor patios. Units feature large windows, barn doors, open kitchens, washer/dryer, and some have balconies. Indoor bike storage is provided and a city bike share station is just outside the main entrance.

Situated along Washington Street between 7th and 8th Streets, the new development complements and enhances the existing historic neighborhood fabric, re-establishing density and creating a new, contemporary residential block. Ground floor units have exterior entrances with porches for a more direct link to the neighborhood increasing street-level activity. The retail spaces along 7th and Washington Streets also tie the development into the streetscape and support the revitalizing mixed-use district while the amenity spaces are internalized to a courtyard formed between and behind the two buildings.

1010 on the Rhine


Project Team: Steve Kenat, Chad Burke, Stefan Cornelis, Elizabeth Schmidt, Aaron Fritsch

Consultant: Schaefer (Structural Engineering)

Consultant: Heapy Engineering (MEP Engineering)

Consultant: Bayer Becker (Civil Engineering)

Contractor: Turner Construction Company

Photographer: Brad Feinknopf, Phil Armstrong, Kroger

Vibrant neighborhoods bring people together. The ability to walk out your door and instantly be somewhere is what makes urban living so energizing. At 18 stories, 1010 On-the-Rhine combines luxury apartments, a Kroger grocery and food hall, and parking—but the building does more than put its residents in the thick of city life; it brings life, and a walkable destination, to an underutilized area.

Views—from private residential balconies, to Kroger’s expansive street level windows and second floor food hall dining terrace– are integral to life in and around 1010 On-the-Rhine. Elevators are located along the building’s perimeter to allow for daylight and views from each elevator lobby, and provide a large, open space for the grocery store and the food hall on the ground and second floor. Floor to ceiling windows in the units on the top 8 floors provide constant visual engagement with historic OTR. Transparent corner lobby spaces on the ground floor become corner windows for the large 2-Bedroom units on the upper floors. Through views and connections to the outside, the building gives residents a clear sense of where they are in the city.

1010 On-the-Rhine reinterprets its historic Court Street neighborhood in a contemporary manner and re-invigorates three streets: A convenient walk-up coffee window on Court Street is an opportunity for residents to swap greetings and gossip; the daylight filled Kroger market and second floor food hall market put both fresh and prepared foods within easy reach of residents (and the greater neighborhood). A dedicated residential entrance maintains their privacy and lets them bypass grocery shoppers.

Walsh Road Residence

Tilsley Architects

Project Team: Greg Tilsley, Lupe Lopez

Consultant: Advantage Group Engineers

Contractor: Bronzie Construction

Photographer: Darrin Hunter

In an older established neighborhood full of traditional Tudor homes, a young family built a home that represents their lifestyle and modern aesthetic. The design emphasizes informal living that blends interior and exterior spaces, creating a cohesive integration. This is particularly emphasized by the way the way the house wraps around the outdoor space creating a boundary on the south side and framing the pool and exterior living areas. The 24 ft. sliding glass door opening to the covered patio area further incorporates interior and exterior spaces so that a seamless flow between the two is achieved.

The Z shaped plan is arranged around a central stair that acts as a pivot and organizational element. This space delineates the different functions in the house providing connectivity between each area. The circulation within is expressed compositionally as a vertical element and acts as a counterpoint to the strong horizontal geometry of the roof eaves. The contrast between light and dark, solid and void and the use of transitional geometries work together to add visual interest to the design.

Ecological concerns guided and informed this LEED Platinum home. Horizontal roof planes act as ideal locations for photovoltaics as well as providing shading through deep overhangs. A high efficient envelope and mechanical systems support this energy efficient and environmentally sensitive design.

Trilium House

Tilsley Architects

Project Team: Greg Tilsley, Lupe Lopez

Consultant: Advantage Group Engineers

Contractor: Klotter Builders

Photographer: Darrin Hunter

With the intent of breaking traditional rules, we explored the idea of creating an urban courtyard house that used the structure to not only delineate the boundaries of outdoor spaces but to define their characteristics. As a result we developed an area that serves a practical function as well as providing a ceremonial experience for entering the home. The sequence becomes important in order to intentionally manipulate the transition from public to private spaces in a controlled manner. Thus the house begins to unfold and reveal itself as you proceed inside.

The design is organized around the outdoor space from which you enter. As you step inside, a two story space with a sculptural stair makes the transition to the upper level living spaces and establishes visual continuity. As you ascend, the rest of the house is revealed and is dominated by the expansive volume of space and wood covered ceiling that extends beyond the edges of the room and continues outside. By emphasizing the horizontal plane, your eye follows the line of the roof and distorts the interior boundaries. The sculptural geometry of the building massing frames the space and accentuates the view to the outdoors.

Using sustainable strategies the house was awarded LEED Platinum status by the USGBC.

Lake House in Tennessee

Synthesis Architecture

Project Team: Alexander Christoforidis and Steve Stidham

Consultant: Tom Bible, P.E.

Consultant: Tracy Mitchell, P.E.

Contractor: James Brummit

Photographer: Chris Snow

While almost hidden in the hillside upon the approach, this house reveals a dynamic view of the lake upon entering.  The clients wanted to make the most of their property while keeping the construction budget, energy consumption and life cycle costs modest.  The design draws two primary lines from the site’s contours and views across the water allowing them to extend and intersect at the floor and roof planes.  The house is entered on the upper level, which is peeled back to allow a double story window to further reveal the lake while connecting to the lower level.  This happens at the point at which the two lines that anchor the design intersect.  As the lines extend, they set edges for interior and exterior railings, define borders between spaces and extend interior spaces to the exterior and vice versa.   In doing so, the roof plane rises over the primary living spaces and extends the optimal amount to allow the winter sun to enter while preventing the summer sun from overheating the interior spaces.   Roof overhangs also protect the exterior walls, while material selections throughout were made with low-maintenance and longevity in mind.  The lake also made a very effective heat sink for geothermal heating which combined with passive strategies yields very low utility costs.  The upper level consists of the primary living spaces and a master bedroom suite, while the lower level includes a secondary living space along with bedrooms designed for various extended family living scenarios.  Living spaces on both levels extend to connect interior and exterior spaces.

Forever Home

Lifespan Design Studio

Project Team: Douglas J. Gallow Jr., AIA, NCARB

Consultant: GEI Engineering, Inc., Monroe, OH

Contractor: The Leland Group, Mason, OH

Photographer: Greg Grupenhof

Everything about this architect’s home reflects his fundamental belief that design should never come between people and the things they want to do, at any stage of life. Designed with his business partner-spouse when both were approaching sixty, the house lives up to the title “Forever Home.” It gives form to their vision for a place where work and play are supported in equal measure; their growing family can gather; and they can live comfortably and confidently if their needs change as they grow older.

Perched on the crest of a gentle hill at the edge of a working farm, the home’s strong horizontal lines work in harmony with the rural landscape. Generous expanses of clerestory and windows paired with deep overhanging soffits infuse the home’s core with controlled daylight and tranquil views.

3,500 square feet of living space is arranged in distinct gathering, private, and office zones. The office area incorporates a kitchenette and full bath to support its secondary use as a guest suite and allow for easy conversion into a private housemate or caregiver’s suite if desired in the future. The great room at the heart of the home includes living, dining and cooking spaces that are appropriately defined yet open and communal. A cozy booth offers a more intimate dining experience when desired. The master suite, guest suite, and exercise room are thoughtfully configured and appointed to support privacy and ease of use.

Universal/aging-friendly design details are woven so seamlessly into every corner of the design that they are seldom noticed at first look. A stepless environment inside and out, wider interior doors, multi-level work surfaces and storage, comfortably sized bathrooms, and other intentional aspects of the design all contribute to an environment that is simply easier for everyone to enjoy.

Compton Ridge

ESM Architects

Project Team: Brad Ewing, Joel Swisher, Brian Schwieterman

Interior Designer: John Harrison, DIGS

Landscape Designer: Seiler Landscaping

Contractor: Ranjit Sharma, Copper Creek Homes

Photographer: Ross Van Pelt, RVP Photography

An owner’s expansive corner site in an established Cincinnati neighborhood had sentimental value to him even though the existing mid-century home that stood there did not. The design of the new residence stretches out horizontally across the wide property with most living spaces on one main floor and views to the wooded ravine behind. Vertically, the plan moves subtly up a half flight to a bedroom wing and down a half flight to a garage below to meet the gently sloping topography of the site. The aesthetic both inside and out uses warm natural materials that meet and contrast with trim and gypsum board to create crisp clean lines throughout.

Casa Del Bosque

Luis Sabater Musa and Alex Gormley

Project Team: Luis Sabater Musa, Alex Gormley, and Guande Wu

Consultant: Constructora Marte y Castillo (Engineering)

Consultant: Massiel Mejia (Landscape)

Consultant: Ing. Juan Manuel Cuevas (Construction Manager)

Contractor: Samantha Aseret (Interior Design)

Photographer: Luis Sabater Musa and Francisco Manosalvas

A house is a spatial manifestation of the comfort and warmth of family. It should provide an escape from the day to day; delivering the resident to a state of mind which no other space in the world can.

This notion molded the conception of Casa Del Bosque, meant to be a retreat for the family. The house eases their day to day state of mind, merging it with the natural landscape which dominates the site.

Inspired by the client’s strong memories of hikes throughout the site, the house manifests itself through a composition of heavy cast masses and intertwined sheltering eaves. The earthly masses dominate the circulation through the house, providing moments of privacy to contrast the airy extensions which reach out to the surrounding landscape on the spaces dedicated to pause.

Spatial sequencing was thoroughly crafted, from the automobile approach, through the compressing and decompressing spaces in the house. Slightly circuitous routes allow for the mental immersion of the users to regress into a contemplative and calm state.

The interior portions of the house seek to dissolve seamlessly into the exterior through an organic and unifying material palette. The natural wooden screen envelope serves as a shading device that echoes the rhythm of the trees surrounding the site and demarks the cradled space of the home.

The bedrooms are arranged in a way that maximizes guest privacy while embracing views out to the surrounding paisaje.  The layout reflects the democratic conception of the modern family, offering equality to all members.

Nestled deeply within the Dominican forest, Casa del Bosque’s natural palette will gradually meld with its lush surroundings, heightening its offering to the family. Retreat and comfort. Retiro y comodidad


Student Entries

NEST House

Student: Victoria Wanstrath

Professor: Whitney Hamaker

University of Cincinnati

Located in Northside, Cincinnati, this project is in collaboration with the NEST organization, a non-profit looking to develop housing on 5 sites.

Designed using a matrix, this project contains the following components:

Stick built, public attitude toward street, super-insulation, visit-able, storage, fireplace, back deck, front porch, and is s 2 bedroom 1.5 bath starter home.

A project largely composed from an elevational standpoint, it is designed to combat super-insulation vs. fireplace and being able to read the chimney from street view without breaking super insulated barrier, reinforcing the traditional sense of fireplace in a home while still being efficient.

The fireplace becomes a focal point of the home, and is designed to communicate with the stair through built in storage and a stepped profile. The main living area reads cohesively from stair to fireplace and is flooded with light from the south-facing front façade.

Greenhills Housing Development

Student: Rachel Magee

Professor: Andrew Tetrault 

University of Cincinnati

Greenhills, Ohio is one of the only greenbelt towns still existing within the US but has digressed from its original intentions of community and greenspace. The project examines the relationship between nature and suburban residences. Suburban treehouses were developed to give the land back to the environment, while making the space a playground of pathways for the community.

Northside Affordable Housing

Student: s3

Professor: Whitney Hamaker

University of Cincinnati

Northside is a unique neighborhood in Cincinnati that is being developed by the local CDC called NEST. Whitney Hammaker and a studio at the University f Cincinnati is designing affordable housing options for NEST to implement. Multiple controlled variables were given to students as design priorities according to a matrix. This project adheres the following constraints: ADA accessibility, communal street attitude, and garage.


Student: Nicholas Brauer

University of Cincinnati

For this project, students were asked to design a rowhouse in urban Cincinnati. The site conditions were one of the major constraints as there are neighboring buildings, one of which I chose to build up against. This provided the other neighboring building with views from their existing windows. My design was to try and capture as much light from the site as possible. With this in mind I chose to create a language of windows that wraps around the 3 faces with an additional clerestory. Another key concept of my design was a grand stair that wraps around an elevator core giving access to the many split levels of the home. With the constrained dimensions of 25’ with a 5’ setback an interior of near 20’ is given. I proposed a 4’ space that reaches the entire height of the building allowing views downward and the western and northern light to flow through the entire middle section of the rowhouse. The front facade has direct ties to the neighbors, keeping a more traditional look. A major element of the entry is when you first enter the house you are compressed into a 8’ ceiling space to which you must walk through a tight path before being released into the kitchen with a head height of 11’-6”.

NEST Affordable Home

Student: Nate Halstead

Professor: Whitney Hamaker

University of Cincinnati

A 4th year studio project in cooperation with Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation, or NEST, this design aims at delivering well designed housing and neighborhood beautification at an affordable price for local residents. Some constraints laid out by NEST include a 3 bedroom typology, very low construction budget and 1500 s/f or less. Starting with housing elements drawn from a predetermined matrix to provide variety throughout the studio, this house leans heavily into a cohousing typology with a private attitude towards the surrounding streetscape. The form of the building was derived from a simple and affordable box, undergoing several changes to better meet the categories selected in the matrix. To create larger and more usable common spaces, the southern facade of the building was lowered to create height variation in the first floor while keeping the square footage of the second floor to a more manageable level. As this introduced a south facing roof plane, it also created an opportunity to pull a dormer for the possibility of passive solar heating, when working in conjunction with sun shading devices. As the square footage and pricing limitations made inclusion of multiple bathrooms rather difficult, I instead opted to explode the one full bathroom into individual components – washroom, water closet, and shower room – to cut down footprint while increasing the simultaneous utility of the space. This enables the house to benefit from a single stacked plumbing wall from the second floor to the utility basement (not drawn). The main common space has a 1.5x height space due to the roofline, and in three seasons can be in extended use with the exterior deck, which features privacy planters also dealing with rainwater runoff.

NEST Affordable Housing Studio

Student: Meg McKnight

Professor: Whitney Hamaker

University of Cincinnati

An affordable single-family home situated in the Northside community of Cincinnati with an emphasis on an age-in-place occupancy type and a built-in solution for storage systems. A project prompt for Prof. Whitney Hamaker’s 4th year Architecture students at the University of Cincinnati.

Greenhills Neighborhood Redevelopment

Student: Rachel Magee

Professor: Michael Rogovin

University of Cincinnati

This intent behind this project was to design a new, modern neighborhood for the Greenhills community in the location of the old school that was getting torn down. This included designing single-family residences that would interact with each other to create the modern suburban area. Vehicular circulation was pushed to the exterior of the site and the center is idealized for pedestrians. The units were organized facing a central community area, in this example a large pool, and were surrounded by a heavily wooded area termed the “greenbelt” that was extended to further seclude the new community. They are connected by a series of pathways, both ground level and elevated. Each base unit consists of a stair circulation core, living room, kitchen and dining area, a bedroom, exterior patios, a basement, and covered parking at the ground level. The bedrooms are modular units and can be added, or stacked onto the structure, to accommodate the occupants’ needs. The idea is to provide an affordable starter home to couples and families and allow them to easily add rooms as the family expands. The arrangement of the units allows for lightwells down through the building and to the covered paths under the patios. This new development is the idealized experience for couples and new families that crave a secluded area yet also desire a strong community aspect.

house 1.12

Student: Colin Cooper

Professor: Whitney Hamaker

University of Cincinnati

INTO THE NEST was the first iteration of a collaborative studio between the University of Cincinnati and NEST (Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation), a non-for-profit neighborhood developer. The studio, led by Whitney Hamaker, aimed to research and propose affordable single family homes for current and future residents of Northside. Initially, substantial context research was conducted in order to determine the needs of current and future residents in the neighborhood. This research yielded a grid-matrix of design inputs that generated multiple constraints for each student’s designs. The various design inputs, as generated by the matrix, served as the formwork for the design process of each house.

This submission is the result of the post-matrix design process during Round 1 of the design phase. It was formed by the following parameters: 2,000-2,500 sqft, 40-50% Glazing, Multigenerational Family With 5 Occupants, N/S Orientation, Corner Lot, Courtyard, Active Solar, Deck.

House 1.12 focuses primarily on active solar energy generation and multigenerational living. The pitch of the gable was calculated to determine the optimal fixed position for southern facing roof-mounted solar panels. The program is bisected by a large block chase. This structure’s main function is to provide vertical circulation for the house. It also functions as a solar chimney during the summer months. The split in the program created by the stair tower allows for flexible uses like multigenerational living or multiple house tenants.

house 2.14

Student: Colin Cooper

Professor: Whitney Hamaker

University of Cincinnati

INTO THE NEST was the first iteration of a collaborative studio between the University of Cincinnati and NEST (Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation), a non-for-profit neighborhood developer. The studio, led by Whitney Hamaker, aimed to research and propose affordable single family homes for current and future residents of Northside. Initially, substantial context research was conducted in order to determine the needs of current and future residents in the neighborhood. This research yielded a grid-matrix of design inputs that generated multiple constraints for each student’s designs. The various design inputs, as generated by the matrix, served as the formwork for the design process of each house.

This submission is the result of the post-matrix design process during Round 2 of the design phase. It was formed by the following parameters: Corner Lot, 1,600-1,800 sqft, N/S Orientation, Ventilation, Maximum Site Footprint, First Floor Bedroom, Privacy Focus, Occupiable Roof.

House 2.14 focuses primarily on privacy and ventilation. Similar to house 1.12, house 2.14 features a large block chase that doubles as a solar chimney and stair tower. This structure allows for a split-level plan that enables dynamic spaces and interesting programmatic adjacencies. Privacy was established by sinking the front patio/porch 3 feet below street level. This establishes private ownership of the front yard without the need for a fence or stoop. Ample vegetation in the sunken porch provides a private buffer screen between the house and the sidewalk. Exterior materials were carefully considered so as to keep the house as modest as possible despite the aforementioned controlling parameters. The roof pitch and traditional gutter assembly were part of this effort as well. The balance of remaining loyal to the context of the neighborhood while introducing a new typology became quite a challenge.


Student: Anna Hargan

Professor: Whitney Hamaker

University of Cincinnati

In partnership with Northsider’s Engaged in Sustainable Transformation (NEST), this University of Cincinnati DAAP Architecture studio project seeks to develop affordable housing solutions in Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood with the purpose of re-developing aging homes while also seeking to prevent the harmful impacts of gentrification on local low-income residents. Students operated in a lottery where various properties where assigned randomly.

This package of work presents the first phase of idea development Part 1 and the solution Part 2 from my project specifically.

Part 1 addresses two concepts for program and roof type.

Part 2 develops upon one program type from Part 1 and addresses the roof based off the new program.

The constraints I was given through the lottery gave way to working toward a concept and balance of privacy and visitability. The constraint of the garage proved to be a major role in this concept. Naturally creating a larger setback from most of the existing, surrounding houses. It also played a role for visitability in allowing easy access for visiting.

Design development and research toward addressing the front door became another significant factor. Addressing where doors would be used and be useful rather than a traditional, more apparent entry sequence.

By flipping the program from having bedrooms at the back of the house to the front, the dynamic of the interior responds directly to the conditions of the exterior. With the setback being larger due to the garage slope, privacy for bedrooms works in the same manner. This in turn allows for the living spaces to be more open towards the south wall, providing the opportunity for an optimum natural lighting system.

This project has proven to be beneficial in flexibility and adaptability as the studio moves into the next phase of research and design development.

NEST Affordable Housing Project

Student: Abigale Lovins

Professor: Whitney Hamaker

University of Cincinnati

This project is an affordable housing project designed for the nonprofit, NEST. The site is in the south block of Northside. It is a ranch-style rowhouse that is one floor and is ADA accessible to occupants and visitors. The building is diagrammed into five spaces: parking at the front off the street, private rooms, less private rooms, an exterior patio, and the yard. Each section has a unique experience that is created by the alternating shed roof and low soffits. The front entrance is pushed back towards the middle of the lot, but is still visible from the street. To enter, you must walk past the private section of the house that is characterized by the low shed roof and horizontal siding. Upon entry, you are met with an open floor plan and a double-height, slanted ceiling. Your gaze is directed through the living room and kitchen, out the double glass sliding doors, through the half-enclosed exterior patio and out into the yard. The covered patio is framed with CMU walls and an exterior fireplace that is open to both the patio and yard. The main construction type of the building is a stick-built frame with superinsulation. The truss system allows for the shed roof to span almost the entire twenty five foot wide site, proving ample cover. All of the trusses are the same, as the alternating roof slants are the same, which helps to minimize costs. This project was designed for an “aging-in-place” occupancy and allows for growth.

Greenhills Neighborhood Redevelopment

Student: Abigale Lovins

Professor: Michael Rogovin

University of Cincinnati

This intent behind this project was to design a new, modern neighborhood for the Greenhills community in the location of the old school that was getting torn down. This included designing single-family residences that would interact with each other to create the modern suburban area. Vehicular circulation was pushed to the exterior of the site and the center is idealized for pedestrians. The units were organized facing a central community area, in this example a large pool, and were surrounded by a heavily wooded area termed the “greenbelt” that was extended to further seclude the new community. They are connected by a series of pathways, both ground level and elevated. Each base unit consists of a stair circulation core, living room, kitchen and dining area, a bedroom, exterior patios, a basement, and covered parking at the ground level. The bedrooms are modular units and can be added, or stacked onto the structure, to accommodate the occupants’ needs. The idea is to provide an affordable starter home to couples and families and allow them to easily add rooms as the family expands. The arrangement of the units allows for lightwells down through the building and to the covered paths under the patios. This new development is the idealized experience for couples and new families that crave a secluded area yet also desire a strong community aspect.

NEST Butterfly House

Student: Elizabeth Northeim

Professor: Whitney Hamaker

University of Cincinnati

A house designed for NEST to be build with a low budget to help a low income family. This house is mainly ADA compliant with accessory spaces that are not needed for a person but increase the value of a house. This house was designed within constraints from a matrix I helped create to ensure a variety in the house as well as create unique design decisions.

all images are copyright of listed architect, students, or authors.