Atelier Cho Thompson layers Victorian architecture, New Haven topography, and Korean design for hotel Co.House

A 1905 Victorian home in New Haven, Connecticut, just a four minute walk from Yale University, was originally built as a single-family home for a well-to-do merchant. In the ‘20s, it was a boarding house; in the 21st century, a commercial office. But in the ‘60s, it was purchased by Dr. Kwang Lim and the first Asian woman to teach at Yale, Dr. Hesung Chun Koh, where it became the headquarter for the East Rock Institute, the first American institution dedicated to Korean diasporic culture. Now, it is Co.House, a new hospitality venture from Nigerian and American sisters Oyere Onuma and Ulo Onuma who sought to convert the historic property without forgetting its cultural significance.

The duo tapped Atelier Cho Thompson, cofounded by Christina Cho Yoo and Ming Thompson, to lead the project’s branding, architecture, and interiors—including the property’s own name. The studio approached each scale of the project with the house’s history itself: “The story of this home is a story of a century of brilliant immigrant women,” Thompson told AN Interior. As such, the designers named the destination Co.House, as “‘Co’ refers to the paired ownership of sisters over the years, to the shared housing in the rambling old building, and to a play on the name ‘Koh’ to honor the matriarch of the home.”


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