Venice on Vine with University of Cincinnati, 2005

Venice on Vine officially opened for business on September 11, 2006. On November 17, the storefront pizzeria and food-catering operation won a Merit Design Award from the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
Venice on Vine is a program of Power Inspire Progress (PIP), which provides job training and employment readiness for low-income residents through the operation of a restaurant and catering facility. This collaborative project involved community leaders, eight architects, subcontractors, two architectural firms, and more than forty students from Miami University’s Center for Community Engagement in Over-the-Rhine, the University of Cincinnati Community Design Center, and the Niehoff Urban Studio.

Design work began in Spring 2004 when Frank Russell of the Niehoff Urban Studio and interior design students of the UC School of Architecture and Interior Design instructed by Carrie Biedelman provided concepts for PIP and the building’s owner, ReSTOC (now Over-the-Rhine Community Housing), a non-profit affordable housing developer.

With Thomas A. Dutton and Robert Bell, Miami students began their DesignBuild work in Summer 2004 and completed their portion by the end of Spring 2005. Their work became the office and training space. It is about a 25 x 25 foot square room, originally constructed of brick with some plaster remaining. Students designed and built the cabinets, the continuous counter-desktop, the artwork, as well as the new floor, the walls, and new lighting. Steel studs, hung from the ceiling horizontally, brought the scale down in the room to a more intimate level.