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    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…

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    Design-and-build narrative for a waterfront respite

    Bridges play an important role as a tangible structure built to span obstacles and distances. As an architectural artifact, the bridge is an innovative and engineering feat reaching heights of cantilevered steel that has supported transcontinental transportation and industry, as well as humble origins as wooden planks worn by foot traffic between river banks. The bridge is also considered a symbol, an intangible concept representative of a transition or phase between two conditions or elements.  For this particular waterfront cottage, inspired by the classic vernacular inherent to northern Michigan, a bridge—both literal and figurative—served foundational to its design and build narrative. What began as a partial demolition and remodel, quickly…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Upcycle and silk

    With millions of tons of textiles being produced around the world each year—and a similar amount ending up in landfills, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency—fashion labels and industry entrants have become increasingly creative with what would be considered their “waste” fabric, though countless practices would need to be reversed to create a sustainable industry. For one Toronto-based fashion brand, a comprehensive investment in the sustainable fashion movement manifests in garments crafted from one sustainable, often overlooked material: traditional South Asian saris.  When Priya Mohan founded the brand sariKNOTsari, it was in the wake of a rich period working in the Canadian antiques market and sourcing items for…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Biophilic design, in study

    In June 2020, Stantec, a global design firm, publicly released the results of a biophilic design research study aimed at identifying the correlation between individual workplace performance and holistic wellbeing conducted through the Healthy Building Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. While the concept of biophilic design has been studied in the healthcare setting, this particular study—sponsored by Stantec’s Creativity & Innovation program—identified some interesting tenets about human health and the body’s response to biophilic design in terms of healing and healing rates in a workplace that requires employees to be creative and innovative.  “We, as an organization, have built our design ethos around the platform…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Preservation by design

    Detroit’s architectural fabric is rich with unique historical structures—some recognizable, others more discreet—that have continually been re-purposed for the modern-day city. They also double as keenly protected sites for historic conservationists, one of which was recently recognized by both the Michigan chapter of the AIA and Michigan Historic Preservation Network for its sensitive design and rehabilitation of two historic buildings located in Detroit’s Corktown and the Greektown neighborhood areas. The firm, McIntosh Poris Associates, is an integral full-service architecture and design force for historic building preservation in Detroit and other areas of service. Since its founding in 1994, McIntosh Poris Associates, based in Birmingham, Michigan, has garnered more than 100…

  • Featured,  Form,  Travel

    The Crosswinds Marsh

    Near the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, a collaborative project nearly 25 years-old continues to hold precedent for environmental design and ecological restoration. The Crosswinds Marsh Wetland Interpretive Preserve in New Boston, Michigan, is one of the largest self-sustaining wetland mitigation projects in the United States, and was a collaboration between SmithGroup, a renowned champion for environmental design, and the nearby Wayne County Airport Authority that was completed in 1995.  Last year, it received a Landmark Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects and has, to date, naturally attracted around 30 mammal species—including deer, muskrat, and beavers—to its more than 1,000 acres, along with 21 reptile and amphibian species,…

  • 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…

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    Design for Sale: Pine Lake Road

    Sitting at the tip of a peninsula pointing into the clear waters of Lake Charlevoix, a residence for sale in East Jordan, Michigan is both a witness to one-of-a-kind sunsets and a secluded sanctuary surrounded by freshwater. The property is being listed by Pat O’Brien and Associates Real Estate at $1.25 million. With locations in Boyne City and Charlevoix, Michigan, the real estate brokerage firm specializes in Northern Michigan’s luxury, residential, lakefront, and commercial properties.  Approximately 100 feet of Lake Charlevoix frontage and placement on a quiet paved road make this northern Michigan residence a tranquil escape; but pier and stone firepit access, as well as a spacious multi-level interior…

  • Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    Contemporary in organics vernacular

    When the couple presented the technical and creative team behind this blended hardwood-infused lakeside retreat with the singular challenge of creating a home unique not only to the shores of Torch Lake in northern Michigan, but also to their family, Draper Construction Inc. and Kitchen Choreography LLC led the team in flexing their design muscles.  Rugged, grand, and refined, this home plays its elegant curves against sharp rooflines, while tempering the rustic, roughhewn exterior stonework with the warmth of wood and more contemporary elements of glass and steel. Its interior, while expansive with nearly 12-foot-tall ceilings, welcomes those who cross the threshold with its use of walnut, chestnut, hickory, and…