• Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    Foraged boathouse

    In today’s post-industrial climate, literature on sustainability has become proliferated with language associated with policies, strategy, and new technologies to reduce embodied carbon, improve environmental and human health, and ultimately advance toward a more circular economy. While value-added and necessary as architects, researchers, civil engineers, and designers address what the future of the built environment may look like, there is something simple and elegant to the concept of the found material.  Defined as a natural or discarded object found by chance—initially translated from the French objet trouvé as it related to early 20th century art challenging traditional norms—the found material in terms of the built landscape offers a renewed perspective…

  • Featured,  Form,  Travel

    Great North

    Other than the distinctive, lakeside residential styles born from craftsmanship that are second-to-none, and regional access to the fruits of trade and industry—from agriculture to winemaking—the Michigan real estate market hosts a number of opportunities for recreational real estate. Dozens of riparian and lake-mass waterways create ample fishing and boating opportunities, while rich, forested pockets throughout—and upper regions specifically—make for fine camping, hunting, and lake homes. It is within this unique sector of recreational real estate, both regionally in Michigan’s lower and upper peninsulas, and nationwide, that Great North Real Estate of Alpena, Michigan works and travels.  “It’s the diversity of the market from a recreational aspect [that is unique],”…

  • Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    Hospitality by healthcare

    “Design is a practical practice. There is a misconception that interior designers come up with creative ideas and make things happen almost magically, but that is not the case at all. A good design is very thoughtful,” said Kathryn Chaplow, interior designer and owner of Kathryn Chaplow LLC in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Kathryn Chaplow LLC is an interior design firm specializing in both residential and commercial markets for new construction and remodel work. Chaplow, a practicing designer of more than 20 years, and her studio team were tapped early on when it came to the Bengston Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery in Grand Rapids—along with AMDG Architects Inc., First…

  • Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    Grenadier Pond contemporary

    Set near the wetland shores of Grenadier Pond on the western edge of Toronto’s High Park, this low-profile, contemporary home in the Swansea neighborhood is unassuming upon approach with limited street frontage. Yet, as the onlooker is drawn down the drive, there is a sense of procession and shelter to the three-story, 3,500-square-foot home nestled into the forested hill and ravines inherent to the protected park. Its envelope and clean lines are modest interventions on the site, allowing for interaction and relationship with the unique biodiversity of Grenadier Pond.  There is a thoughtful connection between built and natural landscape—a concept that is central to the founding philosophy of the architectural…

  • 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…

  • Featured,  Form

    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…