Willkommen on Vine

Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)

Project Narrative

The Willkommen on Vine is committed to a simple principle: There is no conflict between affordability, the delight of good design, and celebrating the city’s historic fabric.

Part of a larger Willkommen Project—the largest addition of affordable housing in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine district in decades—this building and its companions on Republic and Pleasant Streets strike up a playful dialogue with their historic counterparts. Slipping into holes in the historic fabric left by years of disinvestment, each begins with a simple volume (defined by zoning, historic, and other requirements), then gently folds its envelope out or in, up or down, shifting surfaces from opaque to transparent in response to the unique opportunities and needs of their contexts.

Striking Brick Geometry. A marriage of technology and craft, its undulating brick wall—a play on the neighborhood’s historic oriels—provides privacy and sunlight to its residents while enriching the busy street below. It both fits in and stands out.

Close collaborations made this aspect of the design possible:
1) Project designers worked with neighborhood and city organizations, diving deeply into the possibilities outlined by the district’s historic infill guidelines.
2) Designers explored an Augmented Reality (AR) model to test the design and collaborate with the masons on the unusual form.

Comfort + Function. A limited palette allows small details to imbue interiors with a sense of craft: residents are greeted by a unique door color, wood apartment numbers, and cast glass lights. Wood coat hooks at unit entrances and shelving within corridors are more than aesthetic, they ensure the functionality of economically-sized units.

Willkommen delivers design equity to a population that is often excluded from the dignity, functionality, and delight of good design. Highlighting the neighborhood’s dynamic history, its subtle details will cultivate a growing attachment from residents and neighbors for years to come.


Project Details

Submission Category

Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)

Date of Completion

March, 2021

Submitting Firm Name


Project Team



Interior Designer



Structural: Schaefer, Civil Bayer Becker, MEP: Engineered Building Systems, Sustainability: Sol


Model Construction