Commercial Architecture July/August 2016 - (Page 8)
The city may not be what it once was, but it's on its way to re-inventing itself within the context of its history.
Kenneth W. Betz, Senior Editor
The Detroit Athletic Club, an Albert Kahn building that dates to 1915, was renovated by SmithGroup JJR. Additions and renovations included a completely new vehicular entry circle, a new porte cochère, a 1,300-gsf entry vestibule,
renovated lobby, new café, and new 10,000-gsf rooftop terrace. Photo: Jason Robinson Photography
estate, and development, but it's not some-
"Cities grow over the years; they change; they be-
thing that has happened overnight nor is the transforma-
come a city and then another city, and we're in the pro-
cess of building the next Detroit," said Mark Nickita,
uch has been made of what has been called
now," said Melissa Dittmer, AIA, director of architecture
of time thinking about the future of Detroit, but it never
a "renaissance" in Detroit architecture, real
and design for Bedrock Detroit.
moved beyond the planning threshold. Now, coming out
Nor is "renaissance" a particularly apt term. "I would
AIA, Archive DS (Design Studio), Detroit.
of those years of planning, it's the first time we've reached
a moment of becoming a city of building," she said.
"I've practiced in the city since the 1960s, and I've
never seen it like this. I see that as a positive thing, not as
say Detroit has gone through a lot of renaissances, so it's
"As we went through the recession and then through
a negative, but that doesn't mean there aren't a whole
a word architects don't like to throw around lightly.
[municipal] bankruptcy, Detroit spent years as a city of
host of issues," said Stephen Vogel, FAIA, professor of
We've heard those buzzwords used multiple times, but
planning," Dittmer said. "I mean, all we did was plan fu-
architecture, Univ. of Detroit-Mercy.
it's definitely an exciting place to be an architect right
ture neighborhoods and future buildings. We spent a lot
COMMERCI A L A RCHI T EC T URE
"For architects it's been great the past three years. If I
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Architecture July/August 2016
Cigar Factory Embarks On A New Life
Windows & Door Products
Historic Renovation Includes Geothermal
Church Sings Praises Of Condensing Boilers
HVAC & Plumbing Products
Raising The Roof On Historical Bath House
Two Paws Up For Rubber Floors
Library Blends Stone And Glass
Lighting For The Future
Lighting & Electrical Products
Building Technology Products
Commercial Architecture July/August 2016