Architecture 359 connects with community

After breaking away from BHDP Architecture, Architecture 359 has descended from "The Cloud" and settled on Twelfth and Jackson Streets for its first office space. 
While working remotely since April 2009 from Mariemont, Westwood, Wyoming, Madrid, Spain and Raleigh, North Carolina, the A359 team decided it was time for an office. After looking around the city and not finding a space that felt right, they drove through OTR and saw a hand-written 'For Rent' sign in the old 4 U Urban Fashion Boutique. They had a lease in their hands by the end of the day. 
"It all came back to wanting to be in this area," says Robert Rich. "Finding a storefront office was important to us. We want to have have an urban presence and become part of a community." 
A359 acquired the office last November and has since cleaned out and renovated the space. Currently, the firm, which consists of Robert Rich, Cori Cassidy, Gregory Kissel, Brian Coffman and Brian Bailey, is working on national projects but hopes to start working with local businesses soon. 
"Our specialty isn't so much a product-type," Rich says. "We thought we could provide a better product by creating better relationships with our clients. There were impediments to creating those relationships when we were all part of a bigger firm."
While Bailey and Coffman work out of Raleigh and Madrid, respectively, the other three are deeply involved in Cincinnati. Kissel, who has a background in preservation, has been working to save the Gamble house in his Westwood neighborhood. Cassidy worked as a project designer for Washington Park. In fact, some of the first OTR Flags that will soon hang in the park now hang in the windows of A359's office. 
"We have a fantasy to see more and more storefronts like ours become part of these great communities around Cincinnati," Rich says. "It's just a great way to be connected."
By Evan Wallis
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