Revitalizing Five Points Alley

Located in Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills neighborhood, five public alleys form this hidden public courtyard. Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation partnered with local designers to transform the courtyard for community events.

Contrasting Past & Future

How do you relate to things of the past? Is brand new always better? Or can discarded things be found useful, re-interpreted, given new life?

History Through New Eyes

Historic fragments of a deconstructed building were used as the base in this park bench. Reclaimed wood from shipping pallets sandwich sheets of acrylic, allowing the LED light strips to shine through the bench surface while also highlighting the historic remnant.  

Involving the Community

After building a series of benches using salvaged shipping pallets, the benches were tested by community members attending a pop-up biergarten.

Feedback Enriches Design

Following feedback about the comfort of the benches, wood panels were added to the tops of the benches. Using the Shou Sugi Ban technique, the wood panels were torched, sealing the surface while creating a beautiful texture.

Shou Sugi Ban

This Japanese wood-burning technique brings out the natural patterns and texture of wood while also weatherproofing, insect-proofing, and ironically, fireproofing it.

Every Community Needs a Stage

Wood-burning techniques were used to seal the surface while adding character to the stage. Blackened steel frames the wood surface, and adjustable feet allow the stage to be placed anywhere on the sloping site. LED lights highlight slats in the wood, while increasing stage visibility at night.

Follow Revitalization Efforts

Five Points Alley now serves as a creative community corner featuring beautiful murals and hosting multi-cultural, art-filled, music-filled, community events. Ultimately, the most important thing we did was get the community to see the alley as a safe place that they are welcome to make their own. Art, design, music, and simply occupying a space has the power to transform it.

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© 2022 Curious Architects LLC

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