• Featured,  Form,  Travel

    The Crosswinds Marsh

    Near the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, a collaborative project nearly 25 years-old continues to hold precedent for environmental design and ecological restoration. The Crosswinds Marsh Wetland Interpretive Preserve in New Boston, Michigan, is one of the largest self-sustaining wetland mitigation projects in the United States, and was a collaboration between SmithGroup, a renowned champion for environmental design, and the nearby Wayne County Airport Authority that was completed in 1995.  Last year, it received a Landmark Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects and has, to date, naturally attracted around 30 mammal species—including deer, muskrat, and beavers—to its more than 1,000 acres, along with 21 reptile and amphibian species,…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Green design

    A modular partition and trellis made from regenerated resin; a Puerto Rico-based, non-profit organization repairing hurricane-affected communities with solar power; and an entire city district in Dubai designed by the Chicago-based firm of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture LLP: these are all projects from 20 different nations unified by the new GREEN GOOD DESIGN awards.  GREEN GOOD DESIGN awards are a special edition of the nearly 70-year-old GOOD DESIGN™ awards, which was founded in Chicago by Edgar Kaufmann Jr., Eero Saarinen, and Charles and Ray Eames, and organized by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. In…

  • Featured,  Form

    Expanded footprint

    Founded in 2007 in Chicago’s residential Lakeview neighborhood, dSPACE Studio has become known for its striking, street-smart and sustainable custom residential projects, including urban dwellings and vacation homes. Alongside its distinctive contemporary aesthetic—often marked by generous glass enclosures, Earth tones, and intricately arranged forms—dSPACE is also adept at being multi-faceted, both in their designs that respond to client taste and locale, and the areas where the firm’s handiwork is found.  The dSPACE portfolio spans the United States and dips into international regions, but for Founding Principal Kevin Toukoumidis, AIA, LEED, it is western Michigan’s pristine landscapes and breathable lot spaces that make some of the best settings for creating impactful…

  • 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…

  • Featured,  Form

    Freshwater hub

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin is changing the narrative on the post-industrial urban landscape. Not unlike many of its like coastal communities—hubs of economic prosperity carved into the shoreline of the world’s largest freshwater system—Milwaukee’s industrial past took advantage of its port and waterways to fuel its growth and development during the 19th and 20th centuries. Yet now, the city is re-emerging as a nationally—and internationally—recognized hub for innovation, sustainability, and water technologies by leveraging its regional asset. By transforming its approach to water, the urban landscape has become a stage where green infrastructure initiatives, as well as critical global water challenges, are not only part of the dialogue, but also an active…

  • Featured,  Travel

    The Union at Railside

    Beside its rapid business development, renowned craft beverages, and growing culinary scene, the Grand Rapids, Michigan area is also known for an eclectic mix of venues—from museums and breweries to gardens and multi-use markets—which also make it a popular regional wedding destination.  This past summer, the design of a new event venue, placed amid the rolling lawns and flowering trees of Railside Golf Club in Byron Center, Michigan, was added to the mix. It is distinguished by an up to 350-seat capacity and a barrier-free, panoramic view of the course’s ninth hole and its picturesque seasonal landscape. The design was originally based on the club’s previous outdoor wedding tent, which…

  • Featured,  Form,  Travel

    The Builders

    Within the Midwest, the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota exemplify some of the most iconic regional takes on 19th and 20th century architectural and design movements. From the Beaux-Arts grandeur of the Cathedral of Saint Paul and the Art Deco stylings of the Foshay Tower, to more recent works like Frank Gehry’s stainless steel Weisman Art Museum and Jean Nouvel’s contemporary Guthrie Theater re-build, both skylines are peppered with structures that continue to push the form. This fall, a new exhibit at the Mill City Museum—housed in the ruins of a 19th century flour mill—will reflect on the perhaps unfamiliar history of three architects and builders who helped…

  • Featured,  Form

    Shingle-style adaptive

    When creating a new residence, adaptability is a valuable term during each stage of the process, especially for the architect, whose task is to deliver a home balancing practical and aesthetic goals. Sometimes a difficult task, achieving this ideal balance can also be highly memorable and, in the case of the team of designers at Sears Architects, something that is reflected on during other projects for years to come. Sears Architects, an architectural and planning firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the design team behind a 2013 residential project on the city’s eastern side that highlighted the firm’s affinity for producing adaptable designs—an element that continues to distinguish it in…

  • 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,…