Fifty on Fifth
All Entries > Innovation
Located within the core of the central business district of Cincinnati, the existing Macy’s department store is vacant, leaving owners wondering what to do with the vacant space. Proposals for the site in the early 1990’s imagined the tallest tower in Cincinnati. In fact, the 3-story structure was designed to hold up to a 22-story tower above the department store. The current configuration does not allow for any sense of public interaction. Fountain Square provides a lot of energy surrounding the site, and new energetic developments exist directly to the west of this site. Unfortunately, the site currently acts more like a barrier. Utilizing the energy surrounding the site, a new diagram arises allowing a more interactive and “public friendly” approach to urban design and development within the core of downtown not currently present within the existing city fabric. These existing influences start to sculpt and shape the base of the tower and allow the public to begin to interact with its base, ultimately connecting through the site. Our approach allows the tower to give back to the public by creating an extension under the building through Fountain Square, physically providing a pedestrian connection across three blocks. The shape of the tower responds to existing adjacent monoliths and allows the tower to breathe within the site and helps with daylighting and views into and out of the building. By addressing simple public needs with good planning practices, a new icon is formed for the City of Cincinnati.