Architectural offerings evoke loft-like feel, nod to traditional and row housing

The City of Shaker Heights has always valued architectural excellence. To further foster it and address the issue of vacancy, last year the city held the Shaker Design Competition, which focused on three vacant lots in the southern Moreland district. Submissions were due Jan. 6.
Now three teams—one international, one national and one local—have been announced as winners and will receive the top prizes at an awards ceremony tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 10, from 6 – 8 p.m. at The Dealership, 3558 Lee Road. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested.
The competition challenged architect-builder teams to design innovative, energy-efficient, middle-income housing for specific lots on Chelton Road, including a single lot at 3539, a double lot at 3531 and a triple lot that spans the addresses 3561, 3567 and 3571. Twelve teams submitted proposals.
The competition invited teams to be at the forefront of development in this historic and vibrant neighborhood by submitting groundbreaking designs for the three lots to entice a new generation of homeowners to Moreland, which was hard hit by the housing crisis and economic downturn. The troubled times resulted in more than 50 vacant lots in the neighborhood, for which the city obtained tax abatement for future development.
The team of Donnelly Eber Architects, out of New York City and Cleveland-based Simcon Homes took first-prize. Their proposed design reinterprets the rhythm and pattern of the street’s existing exterior architecture and introduces an interior that is a distinct departure with an open, loft-like feel. This proposal also includes an accessory space above the garage—a nod to the City’s traditional carriage houses.

First-prize Donnelly Eber Architects and Simcon Homes 
London-based Decent Goodfellow Architects LTD and the local firm of Blossom Homes LLC earned the second prize. Their design distills the lines of the classic gable roof, balconies, and porches found throughout the neighborhood into their simplest forms. Large, contemporary windows punctuate the spare exterior elevations and complement the minimalist façade. The naturally lit interior offers flexible space that can be configured to accommodate live/work options.

Martin Goodfellow - Decent Goodfellow Architects
Third prize went to Moreland Collaborative—a team including builder and Shaker Heights resident Michael Peters; architects Matthew Wolf, Irwin Lowenstein and Christopher Maurer; designer Kenneth Hejduk; Case Western Reserve University Strategic Innovation Lab co-directors Patrick Doherty and Mark “Puck” Mykleby; and marketing professional Sara Gilbertson. Their holistic submission offered a green energy-efficient design, coupled with a broader vision for an EcoDistrict. The flexible designs for the housing component include single family and distinctive mews-style townhouses that are a modern take on classic row housing, and offer the benefits of passive house, which are among the highest standards in energy-efficient building.

Michael Peters - Moreland Collaborative
A jury of nationally and regionally recognized housing, design, and urban planning professionals reviewed the submissions. Winners earned a cash prize and participants are qualified to enter into development and use agreements for construction in Shaker Heights. Winning designs are considered concepts that will inform the final product.
“The submissions demonstrated the feasibility for energy-efficient, flexible housing,” said Mayor Earl M. Leiken in a statement. “We look forward to incorporating these progressive designs into the Moreland neighborhood.”
Further reading: The next must-live Greater Cleveland neighborhood: the Moreland district and With cutting-edge architecture and creations by locals, art is rising in the Moreland district
The City of Shaker Heights is part of Fresh Water's underwriting support network.