• Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Travel

    Center for design

    In the realm of design, the advantage of an extensive, active showroom center is manifold when either undergoing a new project or exploring current trends from design tastemakers. The Midwest has its fair share, from Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, or theMART, the 4.2 million square-foot center in Chicago’s River North submarket; to the Designers Walk collection at the intersection of Toronto’s Annex and Yorkville neighborhoods.  Centrally located in metro-Detroit, the Michigan Design Center is one of these influential pools of collective design where nearly 40 curated showrooms representing more than 1,000 manufacturers—the likes of Ann Sacks, Schumacher, and Baker Furniture among them—offer year-round access to the best and brightest in design…

  • Featured,  Form

    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…

  • Architecture,  Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Residential

    Design for Sale: Pa Be Shan Lane

    Composed of timber logs and stone, a sprawling residence on the Lake Michigan coastline is a captivating design for sale that offers plenty of room and privacy among the lush lakeside woodlands. The property is listed at $2.49 million with Pat O’Brien and Associates Real Estate, a real estate brokerage firm specializing in Northern Michigan’s luxury, residential, lakefront, and commercial properties.  Sitting on nearly 200 feet of sandy Lake Michigan frontage, with an extra 200-foot lot available, the home’s astute, but comfortable, lodge-style architecture is lit with warm light from within during the evenings and by natural sunlight during the day. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the great room capture sweeping views…

  • Featured,  Form

    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…

  • Featured,  Form

    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

    Playful planar

    The Rapson Thirty-Nine Collection is a masterful composition of lyrical, clean lines and a planar form incorporating both comfort and functionality. The furniture line not only leaves an impressionable mark as an authentic reflection of mid-century modernism, but also manages to capture the spirit of internationally-renowned architect and designer Ralph Rapson’s original concepts.  The dynamic and artful furniture pieces, which were made possible through collaboration between Leland International and the Rapson family, are part of the Grand Rapids-based firm’s Guild collection and feature a lounge chair, guest chair, benches, and stools inspired by original drawings completed by Rapson in the late 1930s. Leland International is known for creating high-quality, design-focused…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Print Edition

    The Architects: Brian Barkwell, AIA

    In the past, architecture has been defined as a vocation, a field of both technical and creative study, and a conduit in which an individual can impact lives and leave a legacy. Yet, its potential to influence, create, inspire, disrupt, and include speaks to a larger import than a simple, concrete interpretation. Its significance is elusive, fluid, and subjective; as varied as the talented minds and hands practicing the craft in the region, building upon the existing built fabric and landscape.  In this continued series, Great Lakes By Design Magazine had an opportunity to learn more about some of the architects practicing in the Great Lakes region—and what drives them…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    The Architects: Thomas R. Mathison, FAIA

    In the past, architecture has been defined as a vocation, a field of both technical and creative study, and a conduit in which an individual can impact lives and leave a legacy. Yet, its potential to influence, create, inspire, disrupt, and include speaks to a larger import than a simple, concrete interpretation. Its significance is elusive, fluid, and subjective; as varied as the talented minds and hands practicing the craft in the region, building upon the existing built fabric and landscape.  In this continued series, Great Lakes By Design Magazine had an opportunity to learn more about some of the architects practicing in the Great Lakes region—and what drives them…