Hill House

Building Architecture- Small Scale (<10,000 sf)

Project Narrative

Perched on a hillside overlooking downtown Cincinnati, this new construction, single-family residence considers site, context, environmental amenities and views in its design and execution. The client is a retired empty nest couple seeking a scaled-down home to age in place. The steeply graded site was chosen for its stunning city views, which are framed at various moments as one moves about the house.

Guest bedrooms and storage are reserved for the ground floor, with a custom-detailed sculptural stair leading to upper level social spaces where a full panoramic view of the city and river unfolds. With a flush exterior deck, the living room extends to the exterior during warm months.

The house sits at the end of a row of modest shotgun houses, punctuated by odd window openings and siding patterns. Cedar cladding and a grab bag collection of window types riff off this immediate context. Two volumetric masses are asymmetrically rotated to accommodate both contextual street grid and property boundaries. The joint between the two volumes is articulated in a large interior clerestory window daylighting living and kitchen spaces below. This element forms an axis leading to the primary bedroom suite tucked away behind more active living areas.

Projected for LEED Platinum, the house utilizes geothermal radiant floor heating on both levels. Site disturbance is limited by elevating the house on a pier foundation. All stormwater is collected and mitigated by swales leading to an on site rain garden with integrated detention.

Speciality Awards

Project Details

Submission Category

Building Architecture- Small Scale (<10,000 sf)

Date of Completion

October, 2021