• Glen Arbor Art Center
    Featured,  Form,  Travel

    Gallery in the woods

    A well-travelled summer destination in northern Michigan, the small but vibrant township of Glen Arbor rests in the crook of Lake Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Bay, offering walkable shoreline and sunsets second-to-none, and thick pockets of forested areas that cool active summer months. It is one of these areas a gem of revived architectural prowess sits.  The Glen Arbor Arts Center, formerly the Glen Arbor Art Association is a unique, multi-dimensional space between a nature preserve and the commercial center of town. Its original building had housed several programs from gallery exhibitions and lectures to art classes for several age groupings and even an art residency program; in all, an enduring…

  • cook county hospital exterior, credit Mike Schwartz Photography
    Featured,  Form

    Cook County Hospital(ity)

    In the Illinois Medical District on Chicago’s West Side, Harrison Square, a new micro-neighborhood is being formed that will add residential, office, and retail and hotel space to the immediate surrounding area. One transformative project in the heart of the development oversaw the restoration of an eight-story iconic building with a distinctive Beaux-Arts façade that led to a 2020 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Adaptive Use. Decommissioned in 2002 and vacant for more than 15 years, the sprawling old Cook County Hospital has been converted into a dual-brand Hyatt House and Hyatt Place Hotel, alongside other relevant additions to the area.   The historic rehabilitation project…

  • 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],”…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Accessibility in design

    For the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Sunday, July 26, 2020 marked its 30th anniversary. It is an exemplary piece of legislation that continues to strengthen and evolve in field, from architecture and interior design to public policy. In the design industry alone, the introduction of the ADA 30 years ago resulted in standard changes for newly built public spaces, ultimately increasing accessibility in the sense that people with disabilities were specifically considered throughout the process.  Before the law was passed, design elements in public spaces often considered common today—such as lever door handles instead of circular knobs, wide hallways, extended restrooms, and ramps—were not required.  “There are so…

  • 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…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    The Kohlstedt Keep

    The drama of Lake Superior rivals that of any oceanic system on Earth. Its surface area makes it the largest freshwater lake in the world, in the heart of the Midwest, and its remarkably clean, cold waters are punctuated by sharp rip currents and waves that can top 30 feet. In some places, extrusions of ancient mafic rock reveal the underbelly of the basin, which has been carved by eruptions of molten basalt approximately one billion years ago and the gentle kneading of glacial forms thereafter.  Land side, the lake’s westward buffer, Minnesota, is covered nearly 33 percent by rich packs of coniferous and deciduous forest that also make it…

  • Featured,  Travel

    Sculpted experience

    Museums tucked within nature, sculpture gardens offer unique experiences for those with a love of the outdoors and for the discerning art and design enthusiast that are increasingly appealing in a currently deepening digital reality. The Midwest is home to a variety of sculpture gardens of varying sizes, whether independently owned and operated, or a result of rich, decades-long collaboration between organizations invested in regional arts, design, and environmental wellbeing and education.  Great Lakes By Design takes a moment to marvel at sculpture gardens throughout the Great Lakes region, where visitors can find everything from curated explorations of tropical flora, a carnivorous plant house, and brass-cast depictions of America’s first…