• Featured,  Form

    The wood workers

    There’s a certain sense of comfort created in a home natural wood finishes and accents can invoke. As an architectural material, the rich color and materiality of natural wood causes an instant change in structural style, aesthetic, and feeling when it is applied to the exterior or interior of a home. More so, its malleable qualities allow it to take nearly any shape.  In the small town of Comins, Michigan, in the heart of a more-than-century-old timber industry, the team of craftspeople at The Woodworkers Shoppe Inc. specialize in creating collections of architectural and household wood products from locally grown and harvested species like White Northern Cedar—a naturally termite and…

  • Featured,  Form,  Interiors,  Residential

    The crafted climb

    With a well-tuned eye for detail developed by an early introduction to the art of carpentry and further honed by a 15-year specialization in stair systems, Matthew Conrad, design and installation specialist at Stair System Specialists in Saginaw, Michigan is no stranger to the craft. From compelling works of art designed to last and engaging stair systems unified with—and enhance—the architectural personality of a space, Stair System Specialists works to create solutions aligned with space, budget, and a vision blending beauty and function.  While initially pursuing carpentry before working specifically as a trim carpenter for a regional high-end custom home builder, Conrad developed an affinity for the grand entrance of…

  • Featured,  Form

    The lakefront perspective

    For the clients of this modern home on the shores of Lake Angelus in Oakland County, Michigan, the artful design began more than a decade ago when they fell in love with the property. With a desire to maximize the panoramic lakefront views, the homeowners looked to DesRosiers Architects, an award-winning architectural firm in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and a collaborative team of builders, designers, and craftspeople to bring the waterfront home to envisioned life. Its striking contemporary lines and rich materiality create a bold architectural statement, while offering a warm, inviting environment for family and friends. Intentional in its design, the home rests on a gently sloping bluff atop a…

  • Featured,  Form

    Coastal contemporary

    Gazing through a glass expanse in the dining area of a newly renovated home by Mathison | Mathison Architects of Michigan, one gets the sense of being perched in a bright, southern forest canopy, where vibrant green shades gently ricochet through a hot breeze, and somewhere nearby the ocean breathes. This image isn’t far off for the reconfigured residence in Clearwater Beach, Florida, positioned in between the Gulf of Mexico and intercoastal waterways. What was a single-story, ranch-style, second home from the last century has become a contemporary 2,200-square-foot, two-level residence that successfully merges a complex utilities strategy with a clean style program to center it on the prime location.…

  • GLBD - Flight Centre | Steve Tsai Photography
    Featured,  Form,  Travel

    Flight work

    When leveraging design-based research and brand strategy of one of Toronto’s largest, independent multidisciplinary design firms to create a new space for a global travel services company, the result is an award-winning, four-and-a-half floor office environment uniting staff from roughly 300 various locations throughout Toronto into one seven-story building. Designed by Figure3 to support the ever-evolving needs and culture of the Australian-based Flight Centre, the full-service travel agency’s new Toronto-based office has recently been recognized with a Value of Design Award in the Innovation in Workplace Design category from the Interiors Designers of Canada, or IDC. Departing from existing office layout that closed employees off from one another, Figure3 worked…

  • The Michigan Adirondack lodge, Torch Lake, Kalkaska County, Bespoke Homes LLC, Via Design Inc., Francesca Owings Interior Design LLC, Photography courtesy Jeff Tippett
    Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    The Michigan Adirondack lodge

    Found near Torch Lake along the Rapid River in Kalkaska County, this nearly 5,500-square-foot family retreat is an authentic portrait of Adirondack Style architecture set on nearly 400 acres of natural landscape. Inspired by the vernacular of the Lake Placid Lodge and the National Historic Landmarked Great Camps in New York, this secluded residential home is similarly designed as a gathering place and an escape for family and friends.  It is a style characterized by its use of natural elements, such as whole, split, or peeled logs, roots, and burls, complemented by native granite fieldstone and massive fireplaces, and displays of Swiss Chalet, Shingle Style, and Arts and Crafts elements.…

  • J.L. Hudson Company, Hudson’s, passenger elevators, DesRosiers Architects Inc., Michigan, Bloomfield Hills, Louis DesRosiers AIA, Detroit history, Detroit Elevator Company, Vogue Furniture, Royal Oak
    Featured,  Form

    Restore in residential 

    Throughout the 20th century, The J.L. Hudson Company, or Hudson’s, department stores were fixtures in Detroit’s history as a fashion and design capital, and played a major role in holiday shopping traditions and style development alike.  Opened on Woodward Avenue in 1911, the Hudson’s department store in downtown Detroit would eventually grow into a massive, 25-story structure that was the world’s tallest department store until 1961, commanding the downtown corridor with a multitude of restaurants, a groundbreaking deliveries system, more than 700 fitting rooms and roughly 50 passenger elevators. On the tails of economic downturn, the store was eventually demolished in 1998, but not before one of its long-time appreciators…

  • Featured,  Form

    The waterfront chateau

    There is a quiet palatial air to this lakefront home perched on the sloping topography of its Green Lake site. Upon approach, elegantly curved lines are visibly juxtaposed with clean-lined peaks in the roof; rich, blue, cedar shakes are contrasted with lighter stonework and white trim; and a surprising element of warm millwork welcomes those to the front entry. From the lake, a turret rises three-stories tall, complete with a winding exterior staircase guiding footsteps from the upper deck to the grotto below.  On the interior, a staircase with floating treads allow an immediate visual of Green Lake beyond, exposed beams stretch across ceilings, heated tile wrap the floors, and…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Light inspiration

    Artistic parallels are often drawn to architecture, building on a core function that began as a shelter building practice. It has offered opportunities for the creation of artistic and poetic alludes through structure, and modern materials—and their innovative evolution—have furthered the tradition when things such as acoustics or light are applied to a space.  What began as a poetic exploration of light, shadow, and space manipulation during a thesis project at the University of Michigan for Abhinand Lath, founder and president of Sensitile Systems in Ypsilanti, Michigan, resulted in a patented, groundbreaking architectural innovation. Since then, Sensitile Systems has become an award-winning, internationally recognized manufacturer of glass, resin, and terrazzo…