From the ruins of a dilapidated cinder block auto repair shop will emerge this pair of urban residences, nestled in the epicenter of the Short North. The tight site is optimized by layering components of the living spaces - living and entertaining above storage and nitty-gritty - opening to a terrace over parking - and a loft floating above the rest.
Situated on a compact, wedge-shaped site at the edge of Italian Village, the Russell and Kerr houses form a trifecta of efficient, stunningly designed residences. Three individual homes, with stacking garages, three stories of open living space, and expansive windows overlooking views of downtown are located within walking distance to downtown and the Short North district.
A simple wood, metal and masonry material palette conveys clarified form and detail, while a roof-top deck provides 360 degree views of Columbus. With the western-most unit now complete (and having gathered significant media and neighborhood attention) the remaining two will be soon underway.
The clients wanted a screened porch addition that not only increased the interchange of air and light in the house, but supported their family lifestyle. The core of their household revolves around the family table, where dining is a backdrop to many of the family activities; homework, reading, meetings, artwork, and hobbies. They sought to increase the potential of the space by extending it outward.
Landscaping surrounding the porch includes a minimalist garden. A steel beam that supports the roof structure also functions as a scupper to distribute rainwater from the roof to a basin below. The room furnishings are planned to complement the natural and modern essence of the addition and support the effort to bring the indoors out.
So they called us back to say their kitchen had porch envy. A bit tongue and cheek, obviously, but the Grummans were a great client and we were honored to return to work with them. The porch addition had emboldened a significant link between inside and outside - the kitchen and dining area were begging to participate - to complete the cycle of indoor living to outdoor environment.
Interior walls were removed and a massive beam installed in order to open the space from the front workspace area through the dining zone and into the porch and outdoor areas. The adjacent lockers support family activities and fuse with the bento-box ceiling construction to reinforce the interweaving of these functions and frame the space, inside to out.
New Village Homes, designed for the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, demonstrates how new design is both good for the city and for a historic context. Here, a new development of 100 housing units is fully integrated into the context of Columbus’ Italian Village Historic District, yet it is clearly new and fresh.
Thirty-seven buildings, sixteen individual designs, were conceived to fit within the context of the historic street and building placement pattern of the neighborhood. Two parks were provided, both on the edge of the development, making them available to the entire community. One building was designed with units as mini-lofts and revives an old factory that once stood at the location in the early 1900’s.