Architecture Alum Wins Grand Prize for the #ZeroThreshold Design Competition

In partnership with K. Brandt Knapp, Knowlton School alum Jerome W. Haferd (BSARCH ’07) won the $10,000 Grand Prize for the #ZeroThreshold Design Competition for their entry “SIDE by SIDE : a multi-use, multi-abled commons.”

#ZeroThreshold is part of an architecture and urban design initiative to celebrate accessibility as a generator of design, and for the Old Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio to build a proposal that takes the lead in the future of this movement. The competition was created by the nonprofit North Coast Community Homes, which operates more than 200 group homes for more than 1,000 developmentally disabled people in Northeast Ohio. The Cleveland Foundation provided $149,000 in funding. North Coast Community Homes is currently raising money to build one or more of the winning designs in Old Brooklyn neighborhood.

The BRANDT : HAFERD winning entry proposes an accessible urban prototype that incorporates communal cooking, gardens and learning. Designed for intergenerational living, the project transforms an empty double lot and adjacent vacant lot into a mixed-use project to combat social isolation and provide an innovative new accessible living typology. Substandard housing, lack of access to green space and lack of social connectedness affects a wide variety of neighborhoods and demographics, including Old Brooklyn. Rather than tackle these issues in isolation, "SIDE by SIDE" offers a holistic design to address and improve accessibility and community-based issues faced by both the alter-abled and able-bodied alike.

The competition drew entries from nearly 100 architects and designers from Austria, India, Israel, Italy, Sweden and the United States. The prize was announced at an awards ceremony at the Ariel International Center in Cleveland on September 19, 2019.

BRANDT : HAFERD is a Harlem-based architecture and design studio led by Jerome W Haferd and K. Brandt Knapp. Their body of work includes academic research and a range of built projects - from the domestic to the workplace to the urban. Performance and Play, Abstract vs. Built Form, Nature and Territory, and the Individual vs. Collective are some of the interests explored in the practice.