Urban Redevelopment: From Brownfield to Desired Living

Breakwater Bluffs, a four-story, 6,500 square foot, multifamily development brings new life and purpose to a formerly vacant industrial site uniquely located between the beaches of Lake Erie and bustling downtown Cleveland. It provides a coherent townhouse design offering modern amenities and contemporary forms, while expressing each individual unit, maintaining residential scale and responding to the urban site context.

The entire building utilizes a consistent palette of materials, colors and forms to maintain a unified facade, while each of the units is offset to create a rich, residential feel and provide definition to each unit.  Flat roofs, orthogonal geometry and corrugated metal siding reflect the forms and materials of the site’s industrial past and surroundings, while warm earth tones, wood grains, pergolas and shed roofs provide a meaningful dialogue with the traditional residential neighborhoods of the area.  Vertical corrugated metal panel elements provide a visual break in the horizontal cement board panels that wrap each unit and appropriately emphasize each unit entryway, while demarcating one unit from the next.

Breakwater Bluffs, photo by Derek Lindsay

This respectfully contemporary design continues to the interior with open floor plans, an abundance of natural daylight, clean lines and simple finishes that utilize traditional materials with contemporary elegance, creating the perfect backdrop for simple – yet luxurious – living, relaxing and entertaining.  Ranging from 1,982 – 2,340 square feet, each unit is comprised of a lower level two-car garage and finished area with laundry, second floor main entry level, third floor bedrooms and fourth floor flex space and rooftop patio, with an optional elevator to all floors.

The main entry level (second floor) features an open-concept space with living room, flex area, dining room and eat-in kitchen.  The kitchen boasts ample counter space and storage areas, featuring a large island with a comfortable work space.  A powder room, pantry, coat closet and optional elevator comprise a solid core towards the interior of the space. 

Continuing to the upper levels, the third floor accommodates a master bedroom suite, second bedroom with generous walk-in closet, and a hall bath.  The master bedroom offers a contemporary window design, including transom windows that bring in additional daylight without compromising privacy and wall space.  The master bathroom, though compact, feels spacious thanks to the large walk-in shower with frameless glass doors.  The fourth floor offers a flexible entertaining space with optional wet bar and powder room (or even an additional bedroom suite) and coveted access to a spacious rooftop patio and pergola with striking views to the Cleveland skyline and surrounding area. 

Breakwater Bluffs, photo by Derek Lindsay

From the contemporary forms and rich materials to the simple, open spaces, this project serves to revitalize an urban community by providing upscale townhouses on a former brownfield in an architecturally appropriate manner, a success attested to by the high demand of each unit.

Breakwater Bluffs, photo by Derek Lindsay

Project Team
Architect/Designer: RSA Architects – Richard E. Siegfried
Builder & Developer: Knez Homes
Interior Designer/Merchandiser: Knez Homes – Dorit Sade
Land Planner: Atwell
Landscape Architect/Designer: Visionscape

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