• Featured,  Form

    Focal Point 

    From bettering focus in the workplace and classroom to quieting libraries and helping hospital patients sleep, acoustic controls play an important part in the experience of a built environment. Architecturally, measures to distribute natural resources like light and sound are as relevant as ever, as many markets address a growing need for ergonomic and holistic design solutions focused on emotional, physical, and mental comfort.  In Chicago, lighting manufacturer Focal Point LLC has been on the forefront of these architectural accent materials for more than two decades, releasing many products that can be found in office, education, hospitality, and medical spaces alike. Recently, its acclaimed Acoustic Solutions Portfolio has been joined…

  • Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    Barbershop lounge

    “There is a lot of same-old-same-old in the world and differentiating yourself to really make sure you are answering questions for your guests or customers that aren’t even asked—that you have thought through it—design is everything about that,” said James Geier, founder and president of 555 International in Chicago. “Answer the questions before they are asked and when somebody walks in they know it is a good, rich environment that has been pulled together for the right reasons, not just all these miscellaneous ideas.” 555 International is an award-winning global interior design, development, and fabrication firm specializing in the commercial, retail, and hospitality industries. For more than three decades, the…

  • Featured,  Form

    Tower work 

    When heading south along the eastern banks of the Scioto Greenways trail toward the Scioto Mile Promenade in downtown Columbus, a structure clad in Imperial Red granite and bronze-tone glass comes into view set back from the Scioto River’s edge. Nestled into the built landscape, the 1984-built, approximately one-million-square-foot building soars about 512 feet into the air and is visually flanked by the Art Deco-inspired beacon of LeVeque Tower and the Vern Riffe State Office Tower along the urban trail.  Developed by Hines a Texas-based privately owned global real estate investment, development, and management firm, and designed by the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, or SOM, in…

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    In Vogue

    In Royal Oak, Michigan, a furniture studio of designers and fabricators recalls the past to look toward the future. Known as Vogue Furniture, the 1977-established furniture and millwork workshop is set in a newly renovated shop spanning nearly 45,000 square-feet—allotting plenty of room for new, ambitious projects. The calm, clean office space is full of dark wood hues and clean white walls; a setting ready for clients hoping to find anything from a new living room coffee table to a living space transformation.  “You’ll see there are very few examples of our work in [the office],” said Greg Bartelt, founder, owner, and lead designer at Vogue Furniture. “When the client…

  • Featured,  Form

    Studio Park

    In a burgeoning entertainment district in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, a new multi-use complex and its nine-screen movie theater build upon a cinematic history, such as the Midtown Theater’s origins as the Powers Opera House in 1874 designed by Chicago-based architect Oscar Cobb, and capture hints of a bygone era in its design. Known as Studio Park, the multi-use project is one of the largest private investment developments in the area. At nearly 62,500 square-feet, Studio Park is anticipated to comprise a nine-screen cinema, a 200-seat music venue, more than 900 parking spots, restaurants, shops, housing, a four-star hotel, and an office complex near the Van Andel Arena.  Each component,…

  • Featured,  Form,  Travel

    Under the tees

    In Franklin, Michigan, the nationally-ranked greens and nearly century-old, clubhouse architecture of the Franklin Hills Country Club have been complemented by two modern—and major—additions, courtesy of Detroit architecture firm of McIntosh Poris Associates.  The two deliverables, comprising a 1,700-square-foot, subterranean, training facility and an extensive, pro shop renovation, invited many complexities and considerations to the project, which was finished in time for the 2019 spring-and-summer season, and in preparation for the club’s quieter cold months. The architectural team added modern amenities and comforts for the avid golfer year-round, while respecting the existing views and architectural character that club members have held dear.  “We had a long relationship with [Franklin Hills]…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    TRETOW crafted

    In Milwaukee, TRETOW LLC is adding its own signature to design and fabrication in the area with its contemporary aesthetic and flexibly pragmatic design solutions.  Apart from an early appreciation for art and design, Ryan Tretow, designer and owner, credits a value for craft and a family familiarity of trade work for his path into both design and fabrication. His practice, which became a full-time endeavor in 2016, brings both services in-house to closely refine projects from start to finish, as well as offer a diverse range of turn-key design solutions to the Milwaukee market.  “I was always drawn to taking a project all the way from an idea to…

  • Featured,  Travel

    Walloon Lake warmth

    The village of Walloon Lake, tucked near Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay, has roots in northern Michigan’s tourism industry that date back to the late 1800s. It is still a getaway destination for those seeking a quaint and picturesque reprieve alongside multi-seasonal outdoor adventure and this is credited in part to the Hotel Walloon. The lakefront boutique hotel continues to be a centerpiece among the developing village, gaining accolades along the way, such as its status as the only privately owned, AAA Four Diamond awarded resort in northern Michigan and, recently, a 2019 Travel Award for Best Wine Country Hotel by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice. Offering vintage elegance, warm…

  • Featured,  Relish

    Fine design

    In November 2017, Prime + Proper, a luxurious steakhouse experience, opened in Detroit, and quickly garnered attention for its elaborate interior design and approach to fine dining. Less than two years later in June 2019, McIntosh Poris Associates, the firm behind Prime + Proper’s distinctive style and preserved historic details, received a pair of Restaurant Design Awards from the AIA’s Los Angeles chapter—the only Midwest-based firm to do so during the 2019 award program. The People’s Choice: Restaurant award and Citation: Restaurant award, were supported by a jury verdict that cites Prime + Proper’s “opulence and decadence” as winning factors in the restaurant’s downtown Detroit setting. For Michael Poris, founder…