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    River walk renewal

    By R.J. Weick While there is no shortage of freshwater shoreline in the state of Michigan due to its peninsular shape, its accessibility, especially for the public, can be considered a precious commodity. It is a resource and opportunity one southeastern Michigan community did not overlook as a collaborative team of stakeholders, architects, designers, and engineers led a nearly $6 million restoration initiative to naturalize an approximately one-mile-stretch of shoreline nestled off of the southern end of Lake Huron now known as the Blue Water River Walk. “It’s been an amazing transformation. The west side of Michigan has so much more access to the Great Lakes—I mean literal access to…

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    Michael H. Pattullo, AIA

    President | Shoreline Architecture & Design Petoskey, Michigan Michael H. Pattullo, AIA, president at Shoreline Architecture & Design Inc., has an affinity for the problem-solving portion of a project where building programs or design solutions meet specific parameters and are brought up to the point of construction documents. “I enjoy that part of the broader picture and working out the design solutions and the basics of design with regard to proportion and massing. I feel like it is the part we can have the most impact,” Pattullo said. “What separates good architecture from bad is the ability to solve that problem successfully and design a building with appropriate things that…

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    Megan Feenstra-Wall, AIA

    Architect | Mathison|Mathison Architects Grand Rapids, Michigan There was a period in time when Megan Feenstra-Wall, AIA, architect at Grand Rapids-based Mathison |Mathison Architects, and her husband took a year off from their professional careers and spent nearly six months backpacking and traveling through southeastern Asia and the subcontinent of India. While the trip, which was rather spontaneously decided last minute after abandoning the original truck, tent, and cross-country tour planned stateside, may not directly influence Feenstra-Wall’s design work today, she noted she would like to think it does subconsciously. “There are so many great sites in the world. One of our favorite places on the trip was Bagan, Myanmar…

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    Mark Humitz, AIA, LEED AP

    Owner, President | Cornwell Architects Traverse City, Michigan “I was one of those kids, who always stuck his nose where he maybe shouldn’t, but I was just fascinated with the whole construction process and design and how things went together,” said Mark Humitz, AIA, LEED AP, in reference to the addition project at his childhood home in Dearborn, Michigan. “It really sparked an interest in construction initially and then as I went through my educational career, one of the high school counselors suggested I think about architecture and design,” Humitz added. Humitz currently serves as President and Owner of Cornwell Architects in Traverse City, Michigan, as well as Treasurer of the…

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    Robert Sears

    Owner, Principal | Sears Architects Grand Rapids, Michigan Robert Sears, owner of the boutique architecture and planning firm known as Sears Architects, considers himself lucky. “I knew what I wanted to do. So many people don’t have a passion or a clear direction for their career,” Sears said. “I’ve wanted to be an architect since I was in sixth grade. I’ve always wanted to have a storefront office like we have now, so I geared my whole education and job experience toward that.” Goal burning bright in his mind, Sears went on to tailor his classes in high school and college, and even the job choices and locations to help…

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    Gina Van Tine, AIA, LEED AP

    Owner, Principal | inFORM Studio PC Northville, Michigan | Traverse City, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois “When I was a little kid, my grandparents owned a saw mill down in Tennessee and I’ve always been around buildings my whole life,” said Gina Van Tine, AIA, LEED AP, principal and owner at Detroit-based inFORM Studio PC. “I just loved it. I thought it was so cool that you could make things and live in them. Then I found the whole drawing aspect and I think that is probably one thing all architects at one point or another in their lives fall in love with.” It was this affinity for drawing and an interest…

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    Wayne Visbeen, AIA, IIDA

    Owner, Principal | Visbeen Architects Inc. Grand Rapids, Michigan | Chicago, Illinois Wayne Visbeen, AIA, IIDA, owner and founding principal at Visbeen Architects Inc., is passionate about his craft, which shines through in his artful, real-time sketches as he combines his creative vision and technical skill to bring his clients’ dreams to reality. His dedication to delivering innovative solutions—both visually appealing and functionally efficient—drives him, and he finds inspiration in everything around him, from bridges and buildings to the natural environment. “I think what has happened in my life is that my vocation has become my vacation: design and development, design and travel, national and international travel. I take it…

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    Nicholas J. White, AIA, LEED AP

    Owner, Principal | N.J. White Associates Architecture & Planning Petoskey, Michigan It was nearly four decades ago when Nicholas J. White, AIA, LEED AP, owner and principal at N.J. White Associates Architecture & Planning, decided to establish his own firm in Petoskey, Michigan and create the art he had initially studied when an undergraduate in Ohio. “I was a Fine Arts Major at Ohio Wesleyan University and my mother said for me to learn a trade,” White said. “I always liked building things and had a pretty good eye for design, which is what took me into fine arts and ultimately decided I wanted to build fine art and become…

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    Volume 1, Issue 6: The Architects

    Photography by M Buck Studio Architects are often responsible for some of the world’s most striking and inspired structures in the built environment. As a field, it frequently requires a deft application of balanced artistry and mathematics, creativity and engineering, and aesthetics and functionality. Whether it takes winged form in innovative bridges, pedestrian walkways, civic and cultural buildings, commercial spaces, or custom residential estates, architecture has an ability to influence and inspire how people and communities live, work, interact, and experience. Great Lakes By Design had the opportunity of learning more about a few of the creative minds and talented hands who are practicing Architects in the Great Lakes Region, and spoke to them about…