• Featured,  Form,  Travel

    Skydeck Chicago

    An almost quintessential Chicago experience, observing the Chicago skyline and neighborhoods from the Skydeck Chicago on Willis Tower’s 103rd floor is one of the unique travel opportunities held by the city. As the highest observation deck in the United States, the Skydeck and The Ledge—its transparent-floored enclosures—are suspended 1,353-feet above ground, enabling visitors to see across 50 miles and into four states on a clear day. After closing for an extensive redevelopment, which included design and construction work by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Thinc Design, Clark Construction Group LLC, and Chicago Scenic Studios Inc., the world-renowned experience of the Skydeck Chicago opened once again to the public on April 23,…

  • 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

    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…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Design, in virtual

    As adjustments have been made left and right to carry on everyday routines, resourcefulness and creativity in communities and industry are as relevant as ever. Even in the design sphere, creative leaders are finding ways to deliver great design; and in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Wayne Visbeen, AIA, IIDA, founder and principal at Visbeen Architects LLC is at the head of the curve with a newly launched interactive video service delivering the same results as his in-person consultations: fully developed, custom home illustrations that are ready to implement.  “I’m drawing right on my pad, my overhead camera is on my paper, and [clients are] watching it and interacting with me as…

  • Featured,  Form

    Vision, incorporated

    With its comprehensive redesign and modern, sophisticated material finishes, a commercial architectural project in Grandville, Michigan, by Mathison | Mathison Architects, has helped reorganize and unify a more than 70-year-old technological brand in the area and its triad of business entities within one transformed building.  The companies, comprising Van Dyken Mechanical Inc., Grand Valley Automation Inc., and Mechanical Testing Services Inc., operate in an approximately 35,000-square-foot building and frequently collaborate on projects, though their interior workspaces were dated, shut away from natural light, and left each entity without a defined visual brand. At the time of a recent ownership change, it was decided that the building either needed to be…

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    Timeless estate

    Upon approach, the French Chateau-inspired residence in Hinsdale, Illinois captures a certain je ne sais quoi in time. Beyond a set of restored, original 1926 iron gates and stone columns detailed with welcoming, ornamental pineapples, a long drive draws the onlooker down a path lined with statuesque trees to a front courtyard where an approximately 14,500-square-foot estate stands in warm grandeur.  There is a commanding romanticism to its winged exterior defined by brick and stone, arched entries, and dramatic rooflines; and a classic take on its transitional interior where English antiques are set against a light palette. Once the site of an estate designed by R. Harold Zook, an early…

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    Linking the lakefront

    In 2003, the office of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley initiated an international design competition called “Bridging the Drive,” which aimed to draw major architects for a ground-breaking structural project that would improve pedestrian access to Lake Michigan across Chicago’s South Lakeshore Drive and within its South Side neighborhoods.  After nearly 16 years, the final product, brought to life by AECOM, lead design firm and civil and structural engineer, and F.H. Paschen, general contractor, among others, was unveiled in December of 2018 at 41st Street, where its bright and moderately serpentine structure crosses 750 feet of Lakeshore Drive. Last year, the new 41st Street Pedestrian Bridge was recently named…

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    Builders resource

    In Traverse City, Michigan, a local building materials and solutions showroom is leveraging its national footprint to offer customers a diverse portfolio of products and services. Spanning approximately 17,000 square-feet and set next to its own lumber yard, Builders FirstSource’s local Traverse City showroom offers a diverse selection of pre-built designs that showcase only a sliver of the company’s capabilities.   Every redesign or new project needs good bones, and Builders FirstSource intends to deliver them. Founded in 1998, Builder’s took advantage of the late 1990s housing boom that saw more than 1.6 million private homes built. The company expanded steadily until 2008 during the peak downsizing of lumber yards…

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    Beach house

    Amid Lake Michigan’s steadily swelling tides and changing dune faces, the design-and-build team at Mark Scott Homes—based in Niles, Michigan—has created a quaint reprieve designed to minimize coastline impact, while maximizing the qualities of beachfront living.   Mark Scott Homes specializes in high-quality homes in southwest Michigan and northern Indiana, offering custom home building and property management, as well as design, remodel, and renovation services. The team delivers solutions rich in craftsmanship and material intuition, and as seasoned navigators of lake-side building, its approach to this Lake Michigan beach house was no exception. In fact, the project offered a variety of design challenges, from building among the parcel’s challenging natural…