Located in the historic Over-the-Rhine district of Cincinnati, the project involves the insertion of modern corporate offices and an open-studio architectural firm into a 1910 concrete and brick automobile showroom. Existing historical elements of the building were restored, most notably the ornate stone façade, according to Federal Historic Preservation Guidelines.
The four equal bays of the original storefront transform into horizontal ribbons flowing continuously across the lower level to form the walls, floors, and ceilings of the lower level offices. They extrude and distort to define the offices and waiting area before terminating in the containment of the meeting room. Simultaneously, a series of vertical tubes enclose the plumbing and circulation utilities of the facility. These tubes link the corporate offices of the lower level with the open second floor loft studio.
In contrast to the longitudinal ribbons of the lower level which introduce visitors to the space and lead them to the meeting room, the upper level studio utilizes transverse surfaces within the existing concrete bay structure to maximize visual connectivity. These surfaces fold and tear to define workstations, shelving, and display space. Three existing skylights are transformed into light beacons to introduce northern light into the space and define project zones.
The rear circulation zone is extruded to the roof to define an enclosed lounge with access to the grass roof garden, an eco-friendly oasis within the downtown environment.