McMorrough “All Access Home” Wins Zero-Threshold Design Competition Award

“All Access Home,” designed by Julia McMorrough, associate professor of practice, is the winner of the Most Innovative Interior Architecture Award in the Zero Threshold design competition for barrier-free and accessible living.  

“All Access Home” was designed for the context of Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood. But McMorrough sees it as a test case for ideas that can take many forms, depending on a house’s location and scale. The fundamental ambitions are that the house is attractive and affordable, and does not treat accessible design as an add-on or a negative condition, but as integral and beautiful. 

“The All Access Home endeavors to illustrate how architecture can lead the way in accessible design, and how, by not defaulting to a delayed reaction to accommodation, the built environment has the opportunity to become more, and not less, inventive,” McMorrough said. “Accessibility is not one thing; it is simultaneously physical, social, flexible, legal, spatial, perceptible, and imperceptible. The All Access Home is proposed not as a lament, but as an optimistic exploration of possibility.”

While interior architecture was not initially a category, the design details and innovation of the All Access Home caught the jurors’ attention: “The integration of ramping throughout the home, the focus on details and the activity of daily living (from cubbies for storage to an innovative solution for taking out the trash) made the design stand out. The use of differing elevations within the home also created opportunities for wheelchair users to experience different perspectives and eye levels when interacting with others. These are changes in perspective that those who can easily vary their stance height might take for granted.”

The Zero Threshold design competition for a barrier-free living is sponsored by Northcoast Community Homes and the Cleveland Foundation. Learn more at