Commercial Architecture November 2015 - (Page 8)

profile DEPARTMENT Right. The new, mixed-use Woodward Garden Apartments anchors the renewal of a block once known as "the worst on Woodward." Photo: Justin Maconochie Below. The Townhouse restaurant, designed by McIntosh Poris Associates, occupies the ground floor of a 43-story skyscraper in downtown Detroit's financial district. Photo: Michelle and Chris Gerard Architectural Firm Keeps The Faith The legacies and possibilities of Motor City motivate and inspire design team. W hen it was unfashionable to do so, two school Cranbrook was right up the street." Detroit architects believed in the city and saw potential. Poris faced his greatest challenge in 2006, when Douglas McIntosh passed away unexpectedly at age 44. Two cherry-wood, slatted screens create multiple intimate dining areas at Prism restaurant. Photo: Justin Maconochie when my clients love their space-when their home is an extension of their personality, when their business accomplishes their goals." Michael Poris and Douglas McIntosh grew up in De- "For 12 years, we built the practice together. At once, I The recently completed Woodward Garden Theater troit and each earned architecture degrees at the Univ. of had to deal with mourning my lifelong friend, figuring Block stands as a pinnacle of the firm's practice, Mi- Michigan. Poris went on to Los Angeles to earn his Mas- out how to have a practice without my partner, and reas- chael Poris feels. "It encompasses one of our core prin- ters of Architecture at Southern California Institute of suring clients that the practice would not only continue ciples of respecting Detroit's urban past while making it Architecture. There, he worked with national architects into the future, but that we would also be able to handle wonderfully usable and new for today. The entire block and designers, including Cesar Pelli, Thom Mayne, Frank their needs at that moment," he said. was rejuvenated by renovating the historic theater and Gehry, Richard Meier, and Frank Israel. McIntosh pur- Poris credits fellow architects with the best advice building a newly designed mixed-use residential project sued a similar career path on the East Coast after getting he's received. "Cesar Pelli told us that the schools will adjacent. There were many different public-private part- his Masters at Yale. always be there, so get your practice going before think- ners in the project, and we were instrumental in coor- The pair decided to return to Michigan in 1994, where ing about teaching," he related. "Similarly, Frank Geh- dinating multiple funding sources to make the project a they started McIntosh Poris Associates that same year. ry said young architects need to learn to work in the reality." (See CBP, July/August 2014, pp. 8 to 14) "We thought we could make a difference in our home- marketplace. That made me focus on learning how to Poris is excited about the growth of mixed-use, adap- town and community," Poris said. "We felt Detroit was get things built on budget and on time-things that are tive re-use, and multi-family projects in the near term, like Berlin after the war-full of opportunity. Returning expected of us as professionals, but that can take years but he added he's concerned that the rising costs of con- after being away for 15 years, we saw possibilities here and to master." struction and builder overbooking could slow future development. decided this was where young architects should be. New Offering some advice of his own, Poris noted the im- York and LA didn't need us. There was a great legacy [in portance of understanding a client's vision and advised Working in Detroit for 21 years and finally seeing Detroit] of modern architecture and design by Albert that can only be accomplished by listening. "Success is the momentum of development that is now occurring Kahn, Minoru Yamaskai, Eliel and Eero Saarinen, Gun- achieved through continual dialogue and attention to has been rewarding. "I'm looking forward to seeing it nar Birkerts, and Harley Earl. Legendary art and design details, including budget. I consider myself successful continue," Poris said. CA McIntosh Poris Associates Principal Michael Poris, AIA 8 Location Birmingham and Detroit, MI COMMERCI A L A RCHI T EC T URE NOV/DEC 2015 Founded 1994 Number of employees 11 Primary services Architecture, Interior Design, Urban Design FACTS Area of concentration Multi-Family, Office, Hospitality, Mixed-Use, Adaptive Re-Use, Institutional, Educational Website

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Architecture November 2015

Company Profile
Lighting Makes, Breaks Retail
Materials Create Honest Expression In High School
Fabric Filters Sunlight
Exteriors Products
Healthcare Puts Demands On Fixtures
HVAC & Plumbing Products
Aerospace Distribution Center Opts For Intelligent LEDs
Lighting & Electrical Products
Signature Space Created For PR Firm
Interiors Products
Office Fronts Encourage Interaction, Ensure Privacy
Windows & Doors Products
Adaptive Reuse Gives A L ift To Former Eatery
Building Technology Products

Commercial Architecture November 2015