• 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,  Print Edition

    Design for Sale: Leeward Shores Drive

    Set on a ridge overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay, this four-bedroom, five-and-a-half-plus-bathroom modern residence on 1.22 acres offers a sleek silhouette and series of clean forms set amid timbers and freshwater. Its exterior composition of concrete, steel, composite siding, and glass openings complement an interior materiality and spatial ambiance inspired by the four elements of earth, water, wind, and air where each room provides extensive views, light, and a strong connection to its surrounding environment. The property is listed by Roger Schaub, broker and owner of Schaub Team Premier Realty of Suttons Bay, Michigan, at $2.65 million. Designed by Michael Fitzhugh, AIA, NCARB, of Michael Fitzhugh Architect-PLC of Traverse City,…

  • Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    En Masse

    Set amid a row of iconic Greystone buildings along California Ave. in Chicago, Illinois, the grid-like façade of concrete and glass on the En Masse Architecture and Design Ltd. studio presents a bold juxtaposition with its environment at first glance. Its poured-in place, brise-soleil creates a patterned effect where vertical fins of concrete lend an added layer of complexity to the grey-hued limestone of the historic residential building style inherent to Chicago, and bring an energy and dynamic tension to the creative conversation within its architectural landscape. Minimalist in design, the studio is more than a composition of its brise-soleil—an architectural solution popularized and initially designed for climatic challenges by…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Designed for flight

    In 1986, WACO Aircraft Corporation’s first WACO YMF Classic biplane rolled off the assembly line complete with two open cockpits, stacked wings, radial engine, and handcrafted design in faithful homage to a golden age of flight. Based on the design of the popular 1930s biplane and crafted using techniques from the 1920s and 1930s, WACO Aircraft Corporation’s WACO YMF Classic was not a rebuild or a build kit of the vintage aircraft, but rather a modern production with the latest avionics under the original WACO-type certificate, certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA. WACO Aircraft Corporation, which was founded in 1983 in Lansing before relocating to Battle Creek, Michigan,…

  • Featured,  Print Edition,  Travel

    The Dayton’s Project

    Buildings patinaed by time often resonate with a collective memory embedded deep within the bones of its architectural structure. Iconic places and landmark destinations have a way of allowing moments of the past to collide with the present and potentially into the future in the minds of those who have traversed its spaces. It can serve as a tool or vehicle in which stories can exist across generations, anchoring its place in the built landscape and at times the cultural and social history of a community. In Minneapolis, a 120-year-old historic structure located at 700 Nicollet Avenue that served for decades as an integral part of the downtown retail and…

  • Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    The Georgian coastal

    Built high into the white sand, wind-blown bluff on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan, this coastal Neo-Georgian retreat is an inspired dialect of classic vernacular language often found in Georgian—and its American iterative, Colonial Revival—and Atlantic, Nantucket style. Defined by its proportion, symmetry, and restrained classical ornamentation, this residence reinterprets the traditional with East Coast inspired shingle siding, large spaces, generous windows, and layering of natural materials in understated elegance. While distinctive in its neighborhood, it is contextual in its siting and scale while embracing its lakefront environment through award-winning landscape and design of lush greens, textural plants, and a mixture of white and subtle hues in its foliage.…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Catalyst for innovation

    In 1956, Arthur Kornberg, American biochemist, realized a pursuit in biochemistry that forever changed the landscape and nature of biology. Kornberg’s discovery of DNA polymerase I not only led to the 1959 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine—shared with Severo Ochoa for his discovery of RNA polymerase—but also served as a catalyst for a biotechnology revolution. Kornberg’s exploration in enzymes and innovative work isolating DNA polymerase—and synthesizing DNA in a test tube—would ultimately lead to the development of genetically engineered drugs to treat illnesses like cancer and autoimmune disorders, pave the way for gene sequencing, and inspire generations in scientific discovery, process, and curiosity. His work would also lead to…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Choreographed by design

    From within the renovated walls of a landmark-designated site in the Traverse City State Hospital Historic District, a husband-and-wife-led team of kitchen designers, project managers, interior designers, and craftspeople are continuing a mission established long before relocating their design studio to the former Steward Residence on South Division in Traverse City, Michigan. Initially founded in 2003 as a cabinet supplier in a space on South Garfield Avenue, Kitchen Choreography LLC has since grown into a robust remodeling firm with a team dedicated to realizing well-designed spaces for their clients. Recognized for its commitment to preservation such as in the artful blend of historic and new walls of the 3,500-square-foot, vacant-home-turned-design-studio…