This single family residence offers a lakeside refuge from the owner’s daily routine in southeast Michigan. The house is oriented to take full advantage of the beautiful panoramic views of East Grand Traverse Bay from the atop the lakeside wooded bluff. The lake and Mission Point Peninsula are both visible from the front entry, allowing the viewer to take front stage as the house blends into its surroundings. The gable overhangs are designed to extend the house to the natural environment and also maximize the amount of natural light into the living spaces of the house.

The materials chosen for this project were specifically selected to not compete with the natural beauty of the site and context. Neutral toned stone and cementitious plank siding draw connections to the earth tones of the house’s surroundings. The dark bronze window frames juxtapose the lighter colored materials framing views of the site from around all sides of the house.

The articulated massing of the houses volumes create a visually appealing and dynamic structure. This articulation creates balanced asymmetry throughout the houses exterior, and also breaks down the scale of the house. With the walk-out basement area, the house interior square footage is rather large, but is not overpowering to the building footprint. The compact footprint is designed to the lot size but also allows neighbors adjacent to the residence equal access and unobstructed views of Lake Michigan.

With three levels of finished living space, the house comfortably can accommodate the owner’s and their weekend guests. The lower level opens out onto a landscaped patio that extends the entertaining space to the exterior where the lake is the backdrop for a relaxing, Michigan style, getaway retreat.

Traverse City House.pdf

We have chosen to enter our Park(ing) Day installation for consideration in the Urban Design Category. While the installation was temporary, the intent was to reshape the urban realm, where, for one day, the parking space was turned toward the sidewalk and given back to the pedestrian.

We have designed a park that draws its inspiration from the popularity of Parklets that are sprouting up across the country. Small urban spaces are capable of changing our perception of the city. As we all travel through this city in various modes of transportation, urban environments are primarily experienced at the speed and scale of the pedestrian. It was our goal to create a small urban space that took back the parking space from the automobile and expanded the sidewalk, even if it was just for one day.

Our park is the result of the ingenuity of Architects and students. As a collaborative group of professionals and students that understand problem solving on many issues that affect our daily lives. This installation had to solve the dilemma of creating a temporary space in downtown Flint that expressed the benefits of public open space, and we had to solve this with a zero budget. We also intended to provide identity, and this was accomplished by using a QR code stencil that could be scanned with a smartphone and direct you to AIA Flint’s website. This combined new technologies with the old technology of paper plotter tubes.

Our ambitious design was constructed out of commonplace materials and is 100 percent recyclable. One tube standing alone is simplistic, but many of them working in synergy with one another offer a multitude of spatial opportunities.

Parking Day.pdf

The design proposal for this project was initiated in September of 2009 by the client, TACOM-Detroit Arsenal. This client is part of the Army Corp of Engineers and has a complex in Warren Michigan adjacent to Interstate 696. The client approached us with the need to create a small room for workout equipment for the employees of the facility. Construction was completed in May of 2010.

The major challenge to this project scope was the need to comfortably place all of the required equipment within the small foot print of the addition, while also providing an administrative desk for management staff. This was solved by developing an elliptical plan to the north elevation of the courtyard side of the existing two story building. By using an elliptical plan the design systemically responded to the needs of a central business desk area and at the same time providing fitness center occupants a 180 degree view to a rain garden that takes advantage of diffuse natural daylight from the north.

The elliptical plan of the addition was tied into the existing building with a careful selection of exterior materials and considerate façade proportions. The north facing plan allowed for the expansive use of glass, with the horizontal mullions placed in relation to the existing ribbon windows. Careful selection of the colors for brick, glass and aluminum enhanced the new additions relationship to the existing building, without attempting to directly copy the original. The smooth and gentle curve of the addition minimized the visual impact on the courtyard space.

By placing a rain garden around the perimeter of the new fitness center the occupants are offered a pleasant view out, and the building is buffered from the drive path by an additional layer of landscaping that also includes bollards that reflect the proportion of the structural columns supporting the addition.

Fitness Center.pdf