Imperial Theatre - Mohawk | Cincinnati, Ohio

"A Stage for all Reasons"  - A Catalytic, Historic, Arts, Redevelopment Project

An anchor of the Mohawk District of Cincinnati, this iconic structure had fallen into significant disrepair when it was purchased by Julie Fay in 2014.  She has been working since to stabilize the structure and establish her vision for " A Stage for all Reasons", a community-oriented arts venue focused on performance arts and film. In 2020, A359 became part of the team dedicated to bring this vision into reality.

The renovation of the Imperial Theatre - Mohawk features an 11,400 SF three story annex that will occupy the empty lot to the East. The addition is designed as a complementary infill structure that welcomes artists, patrons and community members into its accessible lobby, allowing the 1930’s façade and iconic marquee to be the signature feature of the overall façade. The utilization of the adjacent lot provides the opportunity to add necessary code-required functions, key amenities and contemporary updates while keeping both the interior and exterior of the historic theater intact, minimizing alterations to its historic characteristics. The annex lobby features ticketing, a cafe/bar area and pre-function space. The remainder of the first floor addition includes toilet rooms, a large passenger/freight elevator, and expanded backstage functions.  Upper levels  include multi-purpose classrooms, sound rooms, and offices. A large rehearsal space room that matches the footprint of the stage anchors the third level which also features roof access for events.

The historic theatre interior will be restored to showcase its original detailing and will be equipped with the state of the art technology and lighting. The original seating will be refurbished with new spacing offering 320 orchestra seats. The balcony will be reconfigured to feature more casual standing-room options as well as seating for 68 in the front balcony.


The façade is composed of a series of terracotta panels, allowing for a contemporary approach that is reminiscent of the original theatre's porcelain panels but subdued in color and texture, more closely matching the brick color from surrounding neighborhood structures with a true masonry material. The terracotta cladding continues to the East and around the corner as vertical sun-shading elements interspersed with glass for daylight and views while mitigating the harsh Southwestern sun.  A brick base becomes the primary façade material as the building traces back along the alley and rear facades.

Plan are in the works to add resident companies to this community amenity that will cater to small scale arts organizations, student performers, and community youth in addition to becoming a sought out venue for film festivals, traveling shows, and special performances. The project is pursuing State of Ohio Historic Tax Credits and seeks to be a transformative catalyst for positive economic growth and the infusion of arts programing for the Mohawk neighborhood

Salé Medina Cafe and Guest House Renovation

This project involves the revitalization of a baker’s residence and public oven next to the historic Grand Mosque in the medina of Salé. The residence will be converted to a café and guest house with views to the ocean. The public oven will be renovated and continue to serve the local residents. Blending historic character with modern minimalist aesthetic fulfills the goals of both owner and community. This project is being design in collaboration with Clock Café, a restaurant chain fostering cross-cultural experiences with locations in Fes, Marrakech, and Chefchaouen.

Ourika Valley Villa

This rural villa is located in the bucolic Ourika river valley which serves as an escape from the noise of bustling Marrakech. Local building methods and materials create a traditional and rustic sensory experience while still incorporating modern amenities. The arrangement of living room and terraces on the upper floors treats the inhabitants to uninterrupted views of the nearby Atlas Mountains.

Villa Zarzur 

Moulay Idriss Zerhoun is a small historic town about 65 km outside of Fez. Perched on a steep mountainside, its medina is built around the mausoleum of Moulay Idriss, Morocco's most important pilgrimage site. The nearby ruins of Volubilis draw both Moroccan on foreign tourists who come to explore the ancient remains of this Roman town.

In response to increasing tourism, Villa Zarzur is an adaptive renovation of two abandoned riads which climbs five stories up the rocky hillside and overlooks the mausoleum and town square. Named after a native bird often seen on site, Villa Zarzur will be a boutique hotel with seven guest suites, a dining hall, and roof terraces.

A359 surveyed and assessed the existing structure to determine the best strategy for adapting the old labyrinth of rooms into open, flowing spaces with panoramic views of the town and surrounding countryside. Working closely with the clients, A359 is developing a vision of a hotel which blends rural Moroccan and classic modern design elements in a minimalist and context-sensitive manner.