There is no shortage of cities whose urban core couldn’t use a shot of redevelopment adrenaline, and the Collegetown District near Cleveland State University is one of them. Things are changing there, however, thanks to the recent completion of the University Lofts project.

The project included the rehab of two early 20th-century commercial buildings and the insertion of a totally new structure between them. The tricky part for design firm City Architecture was creating a new volume that both respected the old structures and presented a fresh face on the street.

The architects restored the exteriors of the existing buildings and also incorporated the look of the vintage terra cotta façade of a nearby structure. The new building matches the scale of the old ones but feels different because of balconies added to create outdoor spaces.

Grand Award

Category Infill project
Entrant/Architect/Land planner City Architecture, Cleveland
Builder Marous Brothers Construction, Willoughby, Ohio
Developer Bedo/BPC Redevelopment, Cleveland

“The new structure establishes a precedent,” the firm says, “for infill modern architecture that rebuilds the fabric and rhythm of the historic street façades and reinvigorates the main street pedestrian experience.”

The 38 loft-style flats and condos feature high ceilings, exposed ducts and floor joists, and unique floor plans. City Architecture also designed with sustainability in mind, so the project includes such features as a reflective roof, energy-efficient mechanical system, low-VOC paints, and salvaged material from the old buildings.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Cleveland, OH.