Great Design for All

3CDC & Model Group, Willkommen

To Project Types

Cincinnati, Ohio | 89,740 SF

Distributed across 15 buildings—11 historic, 4 new—Willkommen will create the largest addition of affordable housing in Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood in memory.
The building on Republic Street carefully distinguishes public and private spaces while announcing clearly “people live here”

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.

Collectively, the new buildings set the tone for future development in the northern portion of Over-the-Rhine, we analyzed what was working in the context and designed the buildings to improve on it

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.

...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.

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

The new building on Pleasant preserves a glimpse of a mural—a piece of the site’s contemporary history—for passersby.