• Form

    Placemaking

    A full-service architectural practice in Grand Rapids, Michigan approaches sustainability through a modernist lens. The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based architectural and planning—and recently, interior design—firm of Mathison|Mathison Architects has become known for its creation of elevated-modern, high-profile homes throughout the United States. Yet, Evan Mathison, co-founding principal architect, noted there are some who may not realize the firm’s breadth of award-winning commercial projects in its portfolio that highlight an affinity for sustainable and experiential design solutions. From sculptural public pavilions that interpret the concept of shelter, to renovations fusing historic design with modern sustainability; many Mathison|Mathison Architects, or MMA, projects create meaningful experiences among space, structure, and user—and ameliorate the natural…

  • Form,  Print Edition

    A royal renovation

    In Evanston, Illinois—a city defined by its tree-lined sidewalks and collection of homes—architecture is a diverse language. Beaux-Arts, Prairie, Italianate, Victorian, Arts and Crafts, and Queen Anne are dialects spoken across intersections and around block corners, passing down their stories through iconic massing, decorative ornamentation, gables, brick and stone, gently sloped rooflines, and the occasional tower or turret. In the renovation of this particular Queen Anne residence, a style known for its irregular roof shapes, bay windows, dramatic massing, and multiple gables and dormers, the homeowners envisioned a design respectful of the heritage in its walls and wove in dynamic elements reflective of their young family lifestyle. Once the home…

  • Form,  Print Edition

    Revived colonial

    “When you work in older homes, whether [people] are going to keep the same essence or want to be a little avant-garde—do something transitional or modern on the inside, but maintain the outside— there is stuff going on in that house from the past. Most people like to find out what is going on, and we kind of disassemble and reassemble—it is a great experience,” said Michael Menn, AIA, CGR, CAPS, CGP, principal architect at Michael Menn Ltd. in Northbrook, Illinois. Michael Menn Ltd. is an architectural and planning firm providing design-and-build services to clients throughout Chicago’s North Shore and the greater Phoenix, Arizona areas. The private practice was initially…

  • 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,  Featured

    Material truth

    When looking out over the rooftops of Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Historic Third Ward district, a pattern soon becomes apparent: works by Flux Design appear at every corner, whether in architecture, sculpture, furniture, or interior design. Today, the firm occupies nearly 20,000 square-feet of studio space in Milwaukee, and its portfolio spans industries and typologies from door handles and museum installations to brewery architecture and a show on the DIY Network called “Made in Milwaukee” composing its overall thumbprint on the city. However, when co-founded in 2000 by Jeremy Shamrowicz and Jesse Meyer shortly after their graduation from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Flux Design was a more modest operation.…

  • Form

    Contemporary farmhouse

    In residential design, personal history and nostalgia can often influence features large and small, gradually creating the identity of a space until it merges into something that clearly signifies the homeowner. In the spring of 2017, Steve Werner, architect and partner at the Shoreline Architecture & Design Inc. firm in Petoskey, Michigan was approached by an unexpected figure from his own childhood—the owner of a Hudsonville, Michigan ice cream supplier near his childhood home—to design a seasonal cottage reminiscent of classic dairy barns. “One of the homeowners had seen a building we had done previously with this bow truss design, which is reminiscent of a dairy barn, and that was…

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    Modern lodge

    Reposed on a cresting dune, this contemporary, coastal lodge is built for the drama of the offshore shoals, turbulent weather, and proud lighthouses that line the Lake Michigan waterscape. It is a home whose beauty is in its implied simplicity, honest materials, and integrated design; where its rich tones are matched only by its memories as a family reprieve in a meaningful setting. Designed by Douglas DeHaan and built by the team of DeHaan Homes in Hudsonville, Michigan and Studio K Creative in Chicago, Illinois, this modern lodge is one of purposeful understatement and custom luxury. Its site, while challenging the buildability with about 100-foot-width, is intentional as it neighbors…

  • Featured,  Form

    Framework

    As the connective tissue for the interior of a home and its outdoor surroundings, windows can play a key role in the function of dwelling space. Its contribution to the existing architectural style is equally as important in terms of its form. In Traverse City, Michigan, Old Mission Windows is a window and door distribution center offering a wide range of window options in brands like Kolbe, Solaris International, and Weather Shield to meet both form and functional needs. With other product and services like interior and exterior door and trim packages from brands such as Kolbe and Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc., Empire, and Wood Harbor Interior Doors; the company…

  • Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    Art work

    There is a romantic narrative about grand old estates. The dramatic, the eclectic, and the traditional frequently collide and coalesce into something seamless and comfortable as time passes. It often brings to mind palatial residences of both colonial and continental setting, where distinguished columns and lofted ceilings are tempered by coastal touches or lush greenery. Designed and built by Lowell Custom Homes in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the Lakeside Conservatory home is meant to capture its homeowners’ lifestyle and appreciation for timeless design. “Homes are pieces of art,” said Scott Lowell, founder and president of Lowell Custom Homes. “I love building homes. Each one we build is different. We have never…