torti gallas and partners, silver spring, md.

when Torti Gallas and Partners took on a HOPE VI affordable housing redevelopment project in Cincinnati's West End, it didn't have to look far for a design muse. “Dayton Street, the street where all the bankers traditionally lived, is five blocks north of City West,” says architect Lawrence Antoine, AIA. “The idea was to associate this project with something everyone in the city thinks of as a ‘good neighborhood.'” So he and colleague Jeff Beam, Associate AIA, developed a palette of details and materials reminiscent of the houses on Dayton Street. Pricier items, such as brick, appear sparingly, mixing with cost-effective elements such as vinyl siding and urethane millwork. Firm president John Torti, FAIA, also credits the local government and City West's residents' council leader, Shirley Colbert, for the project's success. “The city did a really good thing by taking a chance on the West End,” he says. The judges agreed: “Somebody worked hard at this,” said one. “I like the way it makes a neighborhood.”

principal in charge / project architect / urban designer: Lawrence Antoine, AIA, Torti Gallas and Partners
Tom Smith, The Community Builders, Cincinnati
general contractor: Irving Brown, DAG-RCI, Cincinnati
civil engineer: Rick Horn, Woolpert, Cincinnati
architect of record: glaserworks, Cincinnati
project size: 704 to 1,580 square feet per unit
site size: 34 acres
construction cost: $69 per square foot
sales price: $160,000 to $205,000
rental price: One-third of family income
units in project: 601 (103 for sale and 498 rental)
photographer: Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing Photography