Leading Designers & Architects

Leading Designers & Architects

Zoe Gizara

Owner, Gizara Architecture


Q: Do you see any challenges that are unique to the Cincinnati market and if so, what are they?

A:I think every market has its own unique personality. I think Cincinnati has an identity problem that is unique to Cincinnati. There is a traditional trend with the aesthetic but there are several more modernist homes dating back to the thirties and forties. People just don’t always see them because they are tucked away in these neat little neighborhoods.    

Q: How do you balance functionality with the aesthetic appeal?

A: That is the puzzle. You are asked to work for your client’s needs. It must not leak, not freeze and have curb appeal. As architects, we are responding to the client’s aesthetic, the site, if they are renovating, and what the existing structure is. I believe in the inherent beauty of materials doing what they’re supposed to do, as opposed to pushing the material to their limit.  Forcing something will only have to be fixed in less than 10 years.

Q: If you could have a passion project, what would that be?

A: Adaptive reuse is hands down my favorite kind of project to do. My passion project is a nonprofit in Mount Healthy called Tikkun Farm. Tikkun Farm is based on a Hebrew phrase meaning “to repair the world.” Their mission is to welcome people and to meet people where they are. I have worked with them for over five years on various projects like the completion and restoration of a 1906 farmhouse. The real work is to be able to do something that has a positive impact on the world. Architecture isn’t just about aesthetics; Sometimes, people need to get the work done, and they need a place to do the work.

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