Great Design for All

3CDC & Model Group, Willkommen

To Project Types

Cincinnati, OH | 72,690 SF

BRINGING CONTEMPORARY DESIGN TO A HISTORIC CONTEXT, WILLKOMMEN’S THREE NEW BUILDINGS ARE PART OF THE LARGEST ADDITION OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING TO CINCINNATI IN MEMORY.
The form of each building shifts in response to its context and programmatic needs.

Bringing much needed affordable housing to Cincinnati’s urban core, Willkommen will help sustain the diversity that animates Over-the-Rhine. At the same time, it delivers design equity to a lower and mixed-income population that is often excluded from the dignity, functionality, and delight that good design promises.

Occupying previously empty lots, the new construction slips into the holes of the neighborhood’s historic fabric that were created by years of demolition and economic disinvestment. While bolstering the population of the neighborhood and reinforcing the engaging pedestrian experience of its streets, the buildings introduce contemporary design that enables its inhabitants to appreciate the ongoing, dynamic history of Over-the-Rhine.

Willkommen on Republic uses its large glass lobby, stairs, and stoops to bring resident presence to a quiet, narrow street that has sometimes felt shuttered.

...it delivers design equity to a lower and mixed-income population that is often excluded from the dignity, functionality, and delight that good design promises.

A modern take on the neighborhood's historic oriels, Vine Street's undulating brick wall floats above a glass storefront, providing residents with privacy and sunlight. Our team used Augmented Reality, parametric design, and a physical prototype to help masons troubleshoot its striking geometric form.

The shared design concept for these buildings is simple yet thoughtful. It begins with a basic cubic envelope (defined by zoning, historic guidelines, and the residential and commercial space requirements) and then gently folds that envelope out or in, up or down, shifting surfaces from opaque to transparent, in response to the demands of the program and context.

Before: A mural of local notable, Rosemary Clooney, overlooks an empty lot on Pleasant Street.
After: Willkommen on Pleasant now occupies that empty lot, but it preserves glimpses of the mural around corners, through windows, and in its courtyard.
Facing two very differently-scaled streets, the height of Willkommen on Pleasant steps up/down to meet both directions.

 This approach to the historic fabric of the neighborhood results in a distinctly contemporary architectural response that enhances the historic character of the streetscape.