03-04-14

Spring Studio Focuses on Reclaiming Abandoned Housing

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The CUDC and CAED have developed an undergraduate-level Design-Build Studio for reclaiming abandoned housing in Cleveland. The Design-Build Studio will complement the CUDC’s work on the Re-imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland initiative, a project that has become a national model for strategic reuse and reclamation of vacant urban land. This project will build on on-going efforts to reclaim vacant land in the city and explore new approaches for reinventing vacant housing.

Chris Maurer, an adjunct faculty member of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED), teaches the studio with students in the third year Architecture Program, as well as students from the Construction Management Program from the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology (CAEST). Chris is an architect and urban designer who brings strong design skills, extensive field experience, and a demonstrated ability to move innovative design ideas into implementation. Also assisting with the studio is CUDC urban designer, Kristen Zeiber. Kristen spent four years in the Gulf Coast Design Studio where she designed and built homes for hurricane victims and she is well suited to coordinate a design-build studio here in Cleveland. Terry Schwarz, CUDC Director, will oversee connections with the city and community development corporations, and will develop plans for neighborhood improvements for area surrounding the design-build site.

During the spring semester the students will develop a wide range of inexpensive design interventions to make an abandoned house more functional and appealing for prospective residents, which include the millennial generation and recent immigrants. The best idea(s) will proceed into design development, working drawings, and permitting. Summer will be the “build” semester, where CAED Faculty and a professional construction manager will oversee the students’ work. The finished house will be sold and the proceeds will be used as start-up funding to repeat the process in the following year.

The new Design-Build Studio is an exciting collaboration between the CUDC, CAED, and CAEST. In our first year we hope to document the process and bring will provide updates throughout the spring and summer. Stay tuned…

Major support for the Design-Build Studio is provided by: The George Gund Foundation, Sandvick Architects, Sears-Swetland Foundations, and Ruth Brown Foundation.

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