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Competition - 2014

Cincinnati, Ohio

Live/Make/Farm/Opera, is a careful balance between environmental sustainability, contextual relevancy, architectural form, and a socially meaningful community space. 


Our basic premise is to re-use the existing building’s structure to maximize the efficiency of the existing infrastructure and limit encroachment into the green space on the site.  The form was imagined as a contextual brick rectangle, with windows and roof planters routed out much like the process of a cnc milling machine.   The result is a unique rhythmic texture on the façade and a very useful subsistence farming area on the roof for the residents of the building. 
We admire the premise of this competition because it recognizes this project’s potential to help revitalize the local neighborhood.  We strongly believe that the success of this type of project depends on the building’s accessibility to the local community.  Because of this, our proposal puts a strong emphasis on our  “opera event space” which is a supersized version of the artist gallery in the program, but also adds a bar to sell local beer, and a hangout space to support a lively social atmosphere. 

So why this reference to the opera?  As we considered ways to create a space to serve as a social hub for the local community, we were inspired by the idea of the opera house.  In the great cities of the past, the opera house was the center of social life, and we believe this reference could be the catalyst for a unique solution to this space.  In particular, it was the entry stair of the opera house that was the center of the social scene, the place to see and be seen.  For our proposal, we used this idea to re-imagine a social hangout space as simply a stair with various stopping points.  At the same time, the volume of the elliptical stair clearly defines a gallery space for the resident artists to display their work. 

Above all, we envision this project not only as unique modern industrial arts studio and living spaces, but also as a hub for the local community.


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