• The Den axe throwing - Photography: Grand Traverse Resort and Spa
    Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Travel

    The Den

    Since its establishment in 1980, the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa of Acme Township, Michigan has helped define northern Michigan hospitality, with its picturesque location near Grand Traverse Bay atop nearly 900 acres that host the fresh fairways of its three championship level golf courses, clubhouse, golf academy, and grille. The resort itself holds nearly 600 room suite ensembles, and more than 80,000 square-feet of versatile meeting space, as well as a shopping gallery, luxury spa, and variety of dining options that culminate in the rooftop lounge Aerie, known for its panoramic views of the grounds and a culinary experience that harnesses the best of the region.  A destination in…

  • cook county hospital exterior, credit Mike Schwartz Photography
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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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,…

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    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]…