RWA 1st Runner Up at ICF Builder Magazine Awards

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RWA Architects has received the 1st Runner Up Unlimited Residential Award from ICF Builder Magazine. This national award, presented at the World of Concrete Expo in Las Vegas on February 3, 2016, recognizes innovative use of insulating concrete forms (ICF’s) in both residential and commercial construction throughout North America. ICF’s are a structural wall system consisting of two layers of foam insulation which serve as the formwork for poured in place reinforced concrete.  The insulating forms remain in place creating thick, durable exterior walls with exceptional thermal performance and sound reduction properties.

Out of 58 submissions from across the nation in 7 categories, RWA was recognized for a new, custom, single-family residence located in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The jurors were drawn to the beauty and sophistication of the design along with the creative use of ICF’s for not only the exterior walls, but the home theater enclosure, steam shower, and wine cellar.  The homeowners expressed a desire for an heirloom home with “good bones” that would last for generations. The durability and energy savings potential of ICF construction proved to be an excellent choice to satisfy that desire.  Additional sustainable measures include a sealed attic with spray foam insulation, LED lighting, and geothermal heating and cooling system.  

Inside the home, the attributes that only an ICF construction can provide include thick walls, accented paneled jambs or deep plaster window returns, and an unusually quiet interior environment enhance the sense of timeless quality. The home features outdoor rooms and roof terraces of stone paving on structural ICF slabs that overlook and access the swimming pool and recreational areas of the estate. Situated in a community of luxury estate homes, this ICF residence makes a statement that stick framing is not the only way to build a home of this magnitude.

RWA Wins 3 Awards at 2015 CRAN Awards Ceremony

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RWA Architects was recognized at the 7th annual American Institute of Architects (AIA) Cincinnati Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) Awards Ceremony on Thursday May 7th.  This year RWA Architects received three awards:  an Honor Award for a Family Room Addition and Remodel in Hyde Park in the Architectural Addition category, an Honor Award for a New House with Old Style in Indiana in the Custom Home category, and an Honorable Mention for a Neo-Classical Garden Folly in the Midwest in the Exterior Environment category.

The Family Room Addition and Remodeling was instigated by a need for more quality space for a family of seven.  The original kitchen, while functional, was rather constricted and did not provide a spot for informal dining, nor a family gathering space convenient to the kitchen. The secondary needs for a mudroom, an adequate garage, laundry room, an additional bedroom, and improved circulation were also met with an integrated addition that appears to be part of the original home.

A major challenge was providing a proportional opening through an existing masonry bearing wall between the kitchen area and the family room addition.  This challenge was met by employing a pinch beam and encapsulating the structural frame in a series of thick, paneled arches that join the two spaces.  The much-needed informal dining table is centered on the major arch that frames a view of the fireplace. On the exterior, the new family room fireplace chimney punctuates the end of the existing swimming pool and French doors provide access to the rear terrace, play yard, and pool.

Jurors’ Comments:

Jurors noted that the Family Room Addition is a work of “excellent craftsmanship “ and that it “opened the whole house while maintaining the essence of the house.”

The New House with Old Style arose from the client’s request for “a new house that looks old,” but with all the modern conveniences of a new residence.  The owners grew up in this farming community and were ready to return.  The Architects response is a studied design of the massing, materials, detailing, and siting of the late 19th century farmhouses in this Indiana region.  The house is situated in the center of a 125-acre working hay farm.  The driveway winds through the fields and the house is framed by an existing grove of walnut trees.

The central portion of the home reads as the original house with flanking “additions” helping tell a story of work completed over time.  The siting of the pool ties it to the massing of the home and is completely open to the full view of the surrounding acreage.  The house is organized around the central Stair Hall on both floors.  The Dining Room and Kitchen are en suite, framing the view of the back farm.  Custom cabinets and integrated shades are throughout the home.  The first floor Master Bedroom suite includes a Library and a Master Bath with a custom stone trough sink.

Jurors’ Comments:

Of this project, the jurors stated that the “brick core with the wings has a sense of evolving over time in a way that doesn’t feel forced,” that the “spaces seem intimate, given the proportions,” and that it is “well done – not overdone- finds the sweet spot.”

For the Garden Folly, the architect’s task was to provide a grounds keeping space by preserving an existing detached garage, while providing the structure with a character and scale appropriate to the new estate home. The solution was to provide a neo-classical portico from which the owners and their guests may enjoy the fountain and gardens in shaded comfort. Working closely with the landscape architect, the architect designed the folly to provide a backdrop to the linear fountain while screening out the neighboring properties.

The simplicity of form and detail, close attention to historically accurate proportions, and a palette compatible with the new residence create a pleasing garden retreat belying its essential function as a maintenance facility.

Jurors’ Comments:

The Garden Folly was described as fitting the scene of the house and offering a fun “Palladian wild wild west” feeling.

 Since CRAN’s inception in 2009, RWA has received 21 design awards.  RWA Architects considers it an honor and a privilege to be recognized among many unique and excellent submittals. These awards reaffirm our belief that the quality architecture and unmatched service from RWA is among the best in Cincinnati and the surrounding area.

RWA Recognized at 2014 Cincinnati Preservation Awards Ceremony

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RWA Architects is proud to announce that we were chosen to receive a Rehabilitation Award from the Cincinnati Preservation Association for our work on a historical residence on Delta Avenue. This year marks the 50th meeting of the Cincinnati Preservation Association and RWA is proud to be recognized by this organization.

Built in 1894, the Florence Weaver House is a hybrid neo-classical style house, which perches high on the hill overlooking Delta Avenue. In 2008 – 2009, this home underwent a less than sympathetic renovation. For reasons unknown, the house was put on the market unfinished. Prior to that, the site had sat empty for 25 years. Over time it had been proposed for demolition and repeatedly suggested as a site for a townhouse development, similar to others in the area. Fortunately, it was saved from demolition when the current Owner bought the house. It was in fair structural condition, has had several renovations, new utilities, lighting, and mechanical equipment added to the home. The current Owner wanted to increase the size, modernize the amenities and add a garage, while keeping the entire house as authentic to the existing style as possible.

It was important to the Owner that all new work fit seamlessly with the existing style of the home and the design team was tasked to stay true to the character of the original style. Extraneous decoration and utilities were to be removed or replaced with more appropriate designs. The Owners played a large part in the design and construction of the remodeling. Their drive to honor the existing style drove the design and construction team to meet their exacting standards.

Design for the renovation began in August, 2011, with construction starting in March of 2012. The project was completed in May, 2013. The entire roof of the third floor and attic was insulated with expanding spray foam insulation, as well as all walls in the areas that were added and/or remodeled. The existing roofing and flashing were completely replaced. Box gutters were repaired and leaky downspouts were replaced with new downspouts very similar to the existing. New insulated windows were installed throughout, but were designed to match the construction and details of the existing windows. All remaining existing wood exterior doors were removed, cleaned, and refinished. The fabulous 2 story columns and covered porches were restored to their original glory. The damaged siding was replaced and painted to match the existing. On the addition, all new soffit, dentil and trim details were painstakingly matched, to the point that the extent of the addition is often confused with the existing plan. Also, the house was completely rewired. Extraneous outlets and switches were removed or combined to minimize electric devices on the walls. Virtually all of the existing plumbing piping has been replaced, including the cast iron sewer pipe under the basement concrete slab. Plumbing fixtures have been chosen for appropriate style and finish for this home.

The third floor attic was converted into a Game Room and Guest Suite. A back staircase was added as well as a new Master Suite above the three-car garage addition. The modern Kitchen replaced the half complete renovation from the previous owners. The stone site walls were stabilized. Additionally, there was great effort to keep the existing mature red oak. One of the design goals was to open the living room and dining room views to the kitchen in order to eliminate the dark and narrow openings. The main stair and foyer were rehabilitated to return them to their original glory. The same was done for the original pine floors, which were completely refinished.

The current Owners’ efforts have enabled the home to move forward into a new future, while preserving it’s character, durability, and sustainability.

RWA LEED platinum project featured in Cincinnati Business Courier

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RWA was proud to design the first LEED platinum certified home in Cincinnati and very happy to have it featured in a recent Cincinnati Business Courier article.  The piece highlighted that while LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is typically synonymous with very modern, almost industrial aesthetic, it can also be associated with some very warm and traditional design concepts.  LEED certification can be obtained no matter what design style you prefer!

Article Dated 6/13/2014

RWA Architects Awarded Two 2013 AIA Cincinnati CRAN Awards

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RWA Architects was recognized at the 5th annual American Institute of Architects (AIA) Cincinnati Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) Awards Ceremony on Thursday May 2nd. The awards ceremony included a presentation by Juror Chair John Connell, AIA of the 2morrow Studio in Warren, Vermont and founder of the AIA’s CRAN program. This year RWA Architects received two awards; an Honor Award for a private estate located in the Midwest, in the New Custom Home category, and a Merit Award for a Historic Tudor Renovation located in the City of Cincinnati, in the Architectural Interior category. Of the Private Estate, jurors commented, “the design delivers a sophisticated and very nuanced use of a classical palette that is rarely attempted in an era of limited resources and micro-apartments. The result is a timeless estate plan that exhibits many of architecture’s essential virtues. Residential design of this caliber has, and will, stand the test of time.” Of the Historic Tudor residence, the kitchen in particular not only returned the essential space to a design appropriate to the vintage of the home, but it improved it’s livability and accommodates for current lifestyles. “Deft use of natural light and cabinet details raises the design solution above the rest,” said jurors. Since CRAN’s inception in 2009, RWA has received 17 design awards. RWA Architects considers it an honor and a privilege to be recognized among many unique and excellent submittals. These awards reaffirm our belief that the quality architecture and unmatched service you receive from RWA is among the best in Cincinnati and the surrounding area. Please be sure to look for RWA’s award winning projects in an upcoming issue of “Venue Magazine.”

2012 AIA Cincinnati CRAN Awards – RWA Wins 3

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Three RWA projects were recognized at the 4th annual American Institute of Architects (AIA) Cincinnati CRAN (Custom Residential Architects Network) Awards ceremony held on the evening of May 3, 2012. Previously known as the CORA Awards, this now brings the total amount of RWA projects that have received recognition from this event to 15 since it’s inception in 2009. This year, RWA received an Honor Award for a private new residence, in the “Green/Sustainable” category. With this residence having the distinguishing characteristic of being the 1st LEED Platinum home in Cincinnati, certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and receiving full tax abatement for fifteen years from the City of Cincinnati it was quite an honor to be recognized for the design of the home as well. RWA also received a Merit Award for a new private residence in Indian Hill and an Honorable Mention Award for a kitchen renovation for a private residence in Hyde Park. Receiving these awards from a distinguished panel of jurors from around the country, led by Mark Hutker, AIA, with so many quality projects submitted, is an honor and a privilege and it reaffirms our belief that the quality architecture and the unmatched service that you receive from RWA Architects is among the best in Cincinnati and the surrounding area. Please be sure to look for RWA’s award winning projects in the June issue of “Housetrends Magazine.”