• Travel

    Motion in choreograph

    “We are an idea-based firm. We can pivot off of any design problem and I think program is really just a vehicle to test ideas,” said Dwayne MacEwen, AIA, principal and creative director at DMAC Architecture P.C. in Evanston, Illinois. “Whether it is a hospital or a restaurant, I think you need to understand how it functions and it works, but it is still a vehicle to test some ideas and what is a food design for that particular problem or space.” When the Midtown Athletic Club and the Hotel at Midtown opened in 2017 at the intersection of Elston, Damen, and Fullerton Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, it reflected a…

  • Design

    The seasonal garden

    By: R.Collins  As autumn continues to envelop Michigan landscapes, the time has come to prepare for the winter months and the blooms to come after the snow thaws.  Sarah Sella, landscape designer at Alfresco Landscapes LLC in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said introducing seasonal plants to the garden in the fall when the rainfall is cool and steady and the hot temperatures have dissipated, allows plants a gentle environment in which to take root.  “Now is the time to plant your spring flowering bulbs,” Sella said. “Sometimes people want daffodils in the spring time and then, suddenly, it’s spring already and you’ve missed your window of opportunity. They have to be…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Prospective learning environments

    Text: R. Collins  As technology and modern knowledge become intensely packed into our personal spheres, grade schools and collegiate institutes—the spaces we tend to rely on to make sense of it all—carry an immeasurable importance in the present and future of learning. Whereas in the mid-twentieth century teaching practices promoted linear, regimented teaching styles, which popularized images of front-facing desks bolted to the ground, school design now must cater to the ways in which different types of students absorb and interpret information, explained Peter Baldwin, AIA, NCARB, president and principal at AMDG Architects in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  With a diverse educational design portfolio featuring projects in West Michigan school systems—such…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Travel

    Art on theMART

    By: R. Collins On September 29, 2018, theMART, formerly known as The Merchandise Mart, will host a series of curated digital artworks projected across nearly 2.5 acres of its exterior riverside façade after dusk around 7:15 p.m., launching an inaugural program known as Art on theMART.  The inaugural exhibition will showcase the works of renowned artists Diana Thater, Zheng Chongbin, Jason Salavon, and Jan Tichy; exploring genres and subject matter while using the digital model as a springboard for visual arts in the 21st Century. The artists were selected and commissioned by Art on theMART in consultation with a curatorial advisory board shaped by theMART and the City’s Department of…

  • Design,  Design Spotlight

    Traverse City Tuscan

    Text: R. Collins For many, the home is a dwelling space, which enables those inside to be their truest selves every time they return—a permanent fixture accumulating important artifacts from everyday life, which in turn tell an individual’s story. This was true for a condominium unit project nestled along the scenic Boardman River in Traverse City, Michigan and its owners, who contracted local interior designer Angela Goodall to create a comfortable home environment showcasing their international taste. As a founder of the project-based, Traverse City-based design firm known as Kitchen Choreography, which has more than 800 projects completed, Goodall is experienced in producing creative solutions for each project to allow property owners the fullest utilization of…

  • Design,  Travel

    Traverse City’s East end

    Text: R.Collins  During the last several years, downtown Traverse City has developed as both a local and tourist destination filled with an eclectic assortment of eateries, venues, shops, and bars, leaving areas like the city’s eastern side less noticed. More recently, the East side has grown into having a similar reputation for locally-renowned venues and businesses that showcase the best of northern Michigan. In effect, every new addition has expanded the city’s downtown landscape to include what was once outskirts; making more pieces of Front Street and its frontage on the East arm of the Grand Traverse Bay economically and culturally integrated.  For more than 25 years, Prout Financial Design…

  • Architecture,  Form

    Mountain inn

    Text: Kyle Gandy Crystal Mountain, a nationally recognized four-season resort located about 28 miles southwest of Traverse City in Thompsonville, Michigan, has recently undergone an $11 million, 31,200-square-foot expansion—The Inn at the Mountain—that comprises 25 suites, a specialty market, a rooftop terrace, and coffee and wine bar. “One of the demands, in terms of our guests, is that we needed more hotel space; particularly, we host plenty of meetings and conferences, so the 25 suites help with that,” said Brian Lawson, director of public relations at Crystal Mountain. “Another thing we needed was an additional bar space, and more specifically, a place where you could get a cup of coffee.…

  • Architecture,  Form

    Bright farmhouse

    With its intentional use of natural, light materials, this farmhouse shines with timeless style. Text: R. Collins Familiar with modern design trends and imbuing a sense of timeless style, Visbeen Architects and full-service interior design firm Vision Interiors by Visbeen reworked midcentury design concepts blended with the equally classic residential style often known for its use of raw wood and natural materials: the country farmhouse. Perched amid Kalamazoo, Michigan’s shaded woodlands, the Holloway House—finished in 2017—overlooks a ribbon-like stream and bountiful natural beauty that is complemented by the home’s refined, rustic-inspired appearance.  “While the exterior is more of that contemporary farmhouse, [the homeowners] had a midcentury theme that they wanted,…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Park project

    Text: Kyle Gandy The Grand Rapids Department of Parks and Recreation, located at 201 Market Ave. SW, is a perennial division of city government responsible for the myriad of parks meticulously woven into the urban metropolis of the city. Their latest project is a $250,000 reconstruction and modernization of Coit Park, which is tucked away in the northeastern region of the city neighboring the Medical Mile and the Belknap lookout.  This particular project is a part of a comprehensive revitalization strategy, which began in 2013 following a park agreement that was passed to bring $28 million to all 74 parks in the city. Coit Park’s upgrades comprise an improved playground,…