• Architecture,  Commercial,  Form

    Regal renaissance

    By R.J. Weick The Hilton Chicago’s storied corridors have echoed with the footsteps of the most influential since the day the luxury hotel first opened its doors in 1927 as the Stevens Hotel. It is a historical and architectural marvel that has preserved its early 20th Century grandeur for more than 90 years. When Hilton Chicago launched an extensive renovation project, it looked to restore nearly 21,000 square-feet of lobby, gathering space, and dining area on the main floor—blending its classic architecture with a casual elegance and modern amenities—which is when Hilton Chicago brought Aria Group Architects to the table based on their expertise in restaurant, hospitality, and entertainment markets. The…

  • Form

    Naturally planned 

    Text: R.Collins Since the Midwest has been thrown into another fierce winter, the need to thoroughly plan landscapes for the spring and summer seasons is greater than ever. Great Lakes By Design had a conversation with Paul Burd, owner and founder of the landscape design and build company known as Alfresco Landscapes LLC; and Scott Philp of Landscape Logic, a design and build landscape firm, about planning for an ideal, low-hassle season of outdoor utilization and entertainment. Both firms serve the greater Grand Rapids and northern Michigan regions providing friendly and high-quality outdoor architectural, building, and consultation services. No strangers to the ups and downs of making natural landscapes convenient…

  • Architecture,  Design,  National,  Residential

    RADA spotlight

    Text: R.J. Weick The 18th annual Residential Architect Design Awards highlights two firms in the Great Lakes region. Residential design is a dynamic field that often stretches across multiple architectural typologies and can push the boundaries of what has been historically, or collectively, considered a home. While each firm’s process is nuanced and plays to the strengths of each creative and technical team, there is a dedication to quality, craftsmanship, and delivering livable solutions for clients. Architect Magazine, a monthly publication of the American Institute of Architects, has recognized the outstanding work in advancing residential design for the last 18 years with its annual awards program known as the Residential…

  • Commercial,  Form,  Print Edition

    Refined kinetics

    Within the nationally registered historic walls of the Federal Reserve Building in Detroit’s Financial District, a net has been cast; infusing a nearly 4,400-square-foot ground level space with an intentional design aesthetic capturing the more ethereal qualities of a modern sushi restaurant’s brand. Original text by: R.J. Weick Photos courtesy EE Berger Read more in the print edition

  • Design,  Form,  Interiors,  Print Edition

    Outside the box

    Text: R.J. Weick Box Studios, an architecture and interior design firm based in Chicago and Denver, recently completed a re-design of Fairlife LLC’s unique workplace environment in an effort to update the space to meet their client’s current operational needs. As a young company at the time of initial design, Fairlife LLC was interested in an innovative and well-designed solution not only reflecting its culture and values of transparency and creativity, but also paid tribute to its agricultural background. Now a couple years after initial design, the company continues to tackle the challenge of integrating growing design trends and how people are working in its new renovation. “They have obviously…

  • Architecture,  Design,  Form,  Interiors,  Residential

    Versatile work

    Text: R.Collins  Manistee, Mich. is a quaint coastal community surrounded by Lake Michigan to the west and Manistee Lake to the east. Its stout north-east peninsula, which reaches gently into Manistee Lake, holds the heart of its downtown and locally-owned Construction Design Inc., or CDI. Located along River Street in Manistee, CDI’s commercial space has recently accommodated a new live-and-work space after the completion of an extensive renovation project by founder Ed Kriskywicz and Tamara DePonio. CDI is a small residential design and build firm, and while the firm primarily focuses on residential projects, has experience with historic restoration in commercial spaces. Founded by Kriskywicz in 1991 at the age…

  • Form

    Treasuring Rosewood

    By: R. Collins   When time takes its toll on natural landscapes and their existing ecosystems, there are innovative techniques available with the ability to slow the process using materials that blend into the background. For the Park District of Highland Park in Chicago, there was a vision to save a landscape in such danger of being lost: Rosewood Beach. Newly renovated in 2015, Rosewood Beach—once a rugged and eroding segment of the Lake Michigan shoreline—has already won multiple accolades for the success of its rebirth, such as the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association 2016 Best Restored Beach award, and the 2016 Chicago Building Congress Merit Award. The beach…

  • Form

    Considering the sun

    By R. Collins moss Design takes a holistic approach to its diverse projects and its design studio. Some designers pursue the art of design to follow in the footsteps of those who have come before them. Others enter the industry so they can do things their own way, which is the case for Matt Nardella, AIA, LEED-AP, of moss Design studio in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, who created the full-service architecture and design studio to integrate his own design process into the continued building of the city. Come the recession in 2008, Nardella took the restricted job market as a much-needed opportunity to work for himself. After hiring a…

  • Form

    Undisguised beauty

    A volunteer-led initiative to restore an iconic theatre is a labor of love. By R. Collins Vaudeville-style in Detroit is hard to imagine if not witnessed first-hand. Vaudeville was the birth of a brand new strain of theatre life as well as an era that sparked many notable and often tumultuous careers. Judy Garland took to the stage with the Gumm sisters for the first 13 years of her career, and Harry Houdini’s act was picked up by one of the most sought-after agents at the time. Vaudeville fused entertainment with big business for the first time and, as a result, the movie palace was born. The Redford Theatre on…