• Featured,  Form

    Design-and-build narrative for a waterfront respite

    Bridges play an important role as a tangible structure built to span obstacles and distances. As an architectural artifact, the bridge is an innovative and engineering feat reaching heights of cantilevered steel that has supported transcontinental transportation and industry, as well as humble origins as wooden planks worn by foot traffic between river banks. The bridge is also considered a symbol, an intangible concept representative of a transition or phase between two conditions or elements.  For this particular waterfront cottage, inspired by the classic vernacular inherent to northern Michigan, a bridge—both literal and figurative—served foundational to its design and build narrative. What began as a partial demolition and remodel, quickly…

  • Print Edition

    Robert Sears

    Owner, Principal | Sears Architects Grand Rapids, Michigan Robert Sears, owner of the boutique architecture and planning firm known as Sears Architects, considers himself lucky. “I knew what I wanted to do. So many people don’t have a passion or a clear direction for their career,” Sears said. “I’ve wanted to be an architect since I was in sixth grade. I’ve always wanted to have a storefront office like we have now, so I geared my whole education and job experience toward that.” Goal burning bright in his mind, Sears went on to tailor his classes in high school and college, and even the job choices and locations to help…

  • Print Edition

    Volume 1, Issue 6: The Architects

    Photography by M Buck Studio Architects are often responsible for some of the world’s most striking and inspired structures in the built environment. As a field, it frequently requires a deft application of balanced artistry and mathematics, creativity and engineering, and aesthetics and functionality. Whether it takes winged form in innovative bridges, pedestrian walkways, civic and cultural buildings, commercial spaces, or custom residential estates, architecture has an ability to influence and inspire how people and communities live, work, interact, and experience. Great Lakes By Design had the opportunity of learning more about a few of the creative minds and talented hands who are practicing Architects in the Great Lakes Region, and spoke to them about…