With ample storage space included in the upper unit at 530 East 13th Street, students lobbied to have some of the 4th story attic space open to the exterior for a rooftop terrace. The building’s elevated position in the Pendleton Arts District in the East end of Over-the-Rhine affords views of Cincinnati’s downtown district, the spires of St. Paul Church (Verdin Bell Company), Old St. Mary’s and the distinct rooftops of Music Hall and Union Terminal (Cincinnati Museum Center).
Student’s of the Over-the-Rhine DesignBuild Studio teamed with structural consultants Pinnacle Engineering to ensure that the historic metal cornice, chimneys, and brick corner would remain intact when the roof diaphragm was removed to create the open air space. The solution was a “box-in-a-box”—a framed shear wall box within the historic brick shell to support the cornice and stiffen the brick corner.
Students met with Cincinnati Urban Conservation administration to ensure that the proposed terrace would not adversely affect the historic character of the block. Upon approval and receipt of a building permit, students framed up the box and worked with Molloy Roofing Company to create a new, elevated roof deck on the attic floor. After the membrane was completed and drains to the exterior were hooked up, students began to saw their way to daylight, deconstructing the 150-year-old roof and removing a few feet of the west brick wall. Concrete panel board siding along with aluminum edging was installed, with precast concrete coping for the wall and pavers for the deck. The deck pavers were elevated from the membrane roof surface by rubber disks fabricated by the students to ensure proper drainage. One of the removed joists was refinished and used as a step from the master bedroom to the terrace.