Adding Value to Historic Greenville’s Riverside Neighborhood
Nichiha partnered with Alberto Villa Cevallos of The Housing Studio, a full-service architecture and planning firm that specializes in the design and construction of multifamily housing units. Cevallos is the Planning, Design and Development Director with 12 years of experience.
Cevallos was in charge of designing and planning a new multifamily building in the historic neighborhood of Riverside in Greenville, SC. Looking for a long-lasting, durable product that fits the aesthetic of the urban area, Cevallos called Nichiha.
About the Project: Standing Strong and Standing Out in a Thriving City
Woodfield Development and the principal partner, Brian Schick, came to The Housing Studio with a proposal for a multifamily housing development in the Riverside neighborhood in Greenville. With Greenville’s design review board, Woodfield sought out The Housing Studio to plan and design a housing unit that would meet the needs of the board and of the neighborhood itself.
The existing market was inundated with the same kind of products, the same kind of materials and the same kind of look, so Cevallos wanted to do something unique that gave a nod to the industrial backdrop and history of the neighborhood. With warehouses and mills surrounding the area next to a gorgeous trail of greenery, Cevallos wanted something both hip and timeless, which can be a tricky balance.
“While there are breweries and the trail around the area, it’s still quite new. We wanted to create something less urban to fit in with the nearby river, the trail and the open space. Downtown Greenville is very dense and urban, so we wanted to prioritize the use of space and how our project faces the street in our design. The reinvention of Greenville has come with a lot of European influence — designers have done a great job at saving old, historic buildings and have made the layout unique. We wanted to honor that with our project,” Cevallos told us.
Meeting Client Standards, Deadlines & Specifications
Nichiha designates a representative for any new projects. Cevallos has partnered with Nichiha’s Territory Manager, Andy Porter, for years and is always interested in viewing Nichiha’s latest product offerings. Cevallos was instantly inspired by Nichiha’s Miraia Onyx panels with their unique reflective, high-gloss finish.
“We want to see everything new when we can to see if it inspires us to create something unique and beautiful. Andy has been so responsive, always, and he always has the answers we need or knows the right direction to point us in. If I feel inspired by a product, I design the building with that in mind. The Nichiha product was chosen from the very beginning, and I designed the facade of the entire project around the Onyx panels. ”
There are challenges with any multifamily building project, and construction for the Riverside development was fast-tracked. Andy and Nichiha were in it with Cevallos and involved in the process every step of the way. With the high-gloss product, Cevallos was hesitant to ensure there were no scratches on the product when samples and the first panels arrived. With concern for working with a dark color, Cevallos found that the Miraia panels handled beautifully.
How Nichiha Panels Matched the Aesthetics of Riverside
Design is about people, for people. It’s not only about creating something beautiful but about adding value to the neighborhood, the client, the city and all the people in between. With mills all around the neighborhood, Cevallos wanted to utilize the historic architecture of the mills in his design. He created pedestals to resemble mills, and in juxtaposition with the pedestals, he created boxes to sit on top that were more modern utilizing Nichiha panels.
The pairing created a sense of duality — a historic bottom and a sleek, modern top. The color and texture of the Miraia panels created a gorgeous contrast.
“We worked hard to find the right brick to enhance the Nichiha panels’ smooth coldness. The brick had iron on it to pull the darkness from the panels and highlight it. Between the windows, we used Ribbed Nichiha panels to create some relief from the sleekness and glossy facade,” Cevallos raved.
They created a beautiful, open space courtyard in the middle as open air was essential for the environment they wanted patrons to enjoy. They created big balconies for people to actually enjoy over the small “smoker” balconies that many developers employ, and they hired landscape architects to elevate the greenery. With the river being a main focal point, the Onyx panels reflect the water and shine in the sun.
Design That Shines
Multifamily design is successful when it can accommodate all stakeholders: the developers, architects, designers and patrons. When designers like Cevallos, cities like Greenville and developers like Woodfield work with Nichiha, they know they’re getting a long-lasting and trusted material that’s been specified in commercial building projects all over the world.
Nichiha panels are straight-forward to install, which is excellent for installers and builders. Cevallos smiled and said, “We enjoyed the process with Nichiha, just like we always do. The system they’ve created is extremely easy to understand and use. We can’t wait to see what Nichiha has in store for us next.”
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“We enjoyed the process with Nichiha, just like we always do. The system they've created is extremely easy to understand and use.”