Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

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Fantastic futuristic design found in


Fantastic futuristic design found in
Residences of Kings Hill

Exterior view of the Maschke (foreground) and Mintz homes of the Residences of Kings Hill.

By CAROLINE R. MERK

    On a bluff overlooking the Shoreway, two interesting houses stand out in striking contrast to the landscape. They are atypical for Cleveland, to say the least. Designed by architect, Robert Maschke, the Residences of Kings Hill look like groupings of giant white building blocks. The homes are in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood of the near West Side. The Maschke family lives in one and the other is owned by Pat and Chuck Mintz.
    How did a couple who lived in suburbia for 27 years come to move into a modernist house in a semi-industrial area? Pat and Chuck Mintz traded in their Highland Heights home one year ago for precisely that. As empty-nesters, the move was precipitated by “not needing to live in suburbia,” says Pat. They both felt it would only be worth it if they could have a view of the lake. A new home would also have to accommodate Chuck’s third career as a photographer.
    Pat, vice president of student success at Tri-C, met Robert Maschke when he was working on several projects for the college. After visiting his home, the Mintzes met with councilman Matt Zone, the representative for the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, before making a decision. “He gave us a really good overview of the current status of the area and of future plans, which sold us on relocating.”
    The Mintzes love living in a neighborhood with a vibrant arts scene and plentiful restaurants. Pat has an easy commute to work at Tri-C’s metro campus, and Chuck has a photography lab on the ground level of their new residence, as well as a studio on the top floor.
    The houses are white concrete stucco with metal panel standing seam siding between the main house and the stair and elevator towers, says Robert. The “towers” to which he refers are the narrow, rectangular-shaped “blocks” on the south side of the four-level structures. The staircases within are very pleasant, much wider and more open than average, with lower and deeper steps. All of the flooring, which is cement and beech wood, is heated. The houses use radiant heat, he explains, because it is an efficient source of energy, even though it is more expensive at the front end.
    The Mintzes have a “green roof” covered with trays of sedum to reduce heat loss. “We could apply for LEED certification, if we wanted to,” says Pat. By contrast, the entire roof of the Maschke house is a deck. The Mintzes have two terraces on the second and fourth floors. Large expanses of glass, with remote-controlled shades, and well-planned windows offer wonderful views. “The light is ever changing,” says Pat.
    In addition to flat roofs and cubic shapes, both houses have white walls, open floor plans and a lack of ornamentation, such as moldings. “Robert wanted to create a Bauhaus feel,” says Chuck. Indeed, these features are typical of the Bauhaus movement, started in Germany in the early 1900s. Accent colors of red, blue and tan in the Mintz home were inspired by wallpaper designed by Le Corbusier, a leading Bauhaus architect. Interior décor details are very minimal and geometric; even air conditioning vents look like black rectangular slits.
    It took Robert Maschke 10 years to assemble the land and obtain all the permits to build the Residences of Kings Hill. There is one more lot available to build a third “modern urban villa,” as he calls them. Robert has made other investments in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood. His offices on Detroit Road, Robert Maschke Architects, are on the second floor of a 100-year-old building. On the first floor he created an art gallery, called 1point618. He plans to open a sister gallery in Hong Kong, as he spends much time in China, both for work and because his wife is Chinese.
    The Mintzes feel that they too have made a commitment to the area, both economically and visually. “I live in a work of art,” says Pat. “It’s been fun.”


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