Located in the Core City neighborhood of Detroit the program includes a standalone bakery, cafe and the Astro Coffee Roastery. Both the bakery and roastery are built to support the original coffee shop, they serve as commissary for Astro Coffee.
The space was imagined as a canvas, designed and built collaboratively with the client and their family. Client hand painted tiles which were developed in conjunction with Hamtramck Ceramic, these wrap the millwork fabricated by client’s father. At the heart of the project, is the glazed pastry room that serves as a controlled environment for the French style pastries. Centrally located, it organizes the different functions of the bakery and kitchen while displaying the process to the public. Integrated bread display frames the front of the pastry room. Maple wood on the public side adds warmth while tile on the inside provides both a functional and crafted experience for the staff.
The day-lit environment enhances the family atmosphere for both customers and staff. Work areas were located with visibility and access to either the small park out front or a rear courtyard shared with the larger facility. The canvas logic promotes the owners’ product display as personal touches drive the staff and customer experiences.
Photography Michelle and Chris Gerard
Imagined as both sneaker and apparel brand showroom, and part time community space, the shop also doubles as a platform for local underground hip hop celebrities and other artists to showcase their latest work at the threshold of Flushing, Queens.
When you enter the store - you are a part of the tribe and you matter. The threshold is an unassuming, but minimalist take on a vestibule that also serves as a coffee shop in the day. A thick wall skinned in concrete panels is solid except for a long horizontal cutout that displays the hottest kicks while framing a peak to the showroom space beyond.
Porous black display walls reference the steel cages of the area’s post industrial past, with a minimal modernism that makes the store feel light. The organization of shelves allows for flexible arrangement of curated products. Each sneaker is suspended on thin shelves welded to the metal frames, that encourage a continuous circulation through the space.
The store reflects the history of the neighborhood with a nod to the past. Here in Queens, it’s the exterior signage - with its decades of paint layers that can still be made out to say “Tuxedos & Costumes”. Alumni layers on to the neighborhood with their unique style.
Photography - Rafael Gamo
Young Nation is an outreach, education, and youth development organization which "attempts to affect change by inspiring young minds through example and engagement." Young Nation's flagship project, called "The Alley Project" (TAP) transformed a Southwest Detroit neighborhood alley and surrounding vacant lots into an inspirational graffiti art gallery, which connects neighbors and youth to each other as well as to community assets.
This project - TAP Commons - sought to provide an anchor to The Alley Project through the renovation of an existing 2,400 square-foot building into a community center, Young Nation headquarters, and leasable tenant area. The design challenge was to create a flexible, accessible, and authentic space which reflected the values of the community. The project began with a participatory process led by the Detroit Collaborative Design Center which engaged neighbors in the initial planning & design.
The north facade was removed to create a larger community room, which opens onto an enclosed ‘front porch’ area. The porch is enclosed by the geometric-patterned ornamental ironwork screens, which reference the fences and security screens prevalent in the neighborhood. Local metalworkers fabricated the screens; and local and national artists painted the mural which wraps throughout the building. Large windows pop from the west facade for a visual connection to the street and future adjacent park.
On the interior, wood finish panels in bold colors and subtle patterns reference the mural and metalwork, and large moveable doors allow flexibility of spaces as well as provide functional writeable surfaces for meeting notes and impromptu artwork.
Recognition: AIA / HUD Secretary's Award, 2019 "good design is not exclusive"
Finalist : Design Core Detroit + AIA Detroit UNESCO City of Design Commerce Design Awards, 2018.
Client - Young Nation / Inside Southwest Participatory Design - Detroit Collaborative Design Center GC - Michigan Alterations Fabrication - Disenos Ornamental Ironwork (metalwork), Jordan Vaughn, Freddy Diaz, Dave Bequette (muralists) Engineers/Specialty: MA Engineering (MEP), Darvas Engineering (structural) Photography - Erik Howard
Standby is an intimate restaurant with a contemporary approach to food and craft cocktails. Its owner requested that the design house and showcase major pieces in his collection by three prominent artists.
The project spans the ground and basement floors of a five-story building in the center of Detroit’s downtown. Four distinct zones of experience are created by containing the mechanical systems in a mezzanine level above the bar. The four zones (the bar, the small group seating/standing area, the booths, and the main dining area) are further defined and accentuated using a gradient of light quality.
The design sought to blend classic bar elements with contemporary art to create a dynamic space. Where possible, original building materials were used, including the tin ceiling over the main dining area, the wood floors that were patched in-place, and the existing steel beam found inside a wall during renovations, which in turn inspired the extended steel support system for the mezzanine.
A new center for creative studies in Oaxaca, central. The space acts as gallery and residence, housing a series of international artists visiting throughout the year. Artist will be selected by the community and will have an opportunity to expand their practice while learning local indigenous techniques in areas such as textiles, tile making, plastic arts, culinary arts and ceramics.
Fusing modern aesthetic with traditional materials, the space provides a contemporary take on Oaxaca's unique approach to fine craftsmanship.
The center straddles the line between public and private. Seen here as both storefront and private residence, the facade glows at dusk, promoting connections with passing commuters. The open approach is juxtaposed with the often more opaque and closed off facades the uniquely make the typical urban street walls in Mexico.
A perforated geometric clay facade called “tabique” invites the community in while providing an ideal space for creative reflection.
The Red Bull House of Art exhibition and residency is a 14,000 sq ft. complex housed in a former brewery located in Detroit’s Eastern Market. The incubator contains shared artist studios, a fabrication shop, a lounge space, administrative offices, and a public gallery / exhibition space. The project serves as a prototype for the Red Bull community arts project, which is modeled from their success with the Red Bull Music Academy. The House of Art is designed as a series of extended thresholds that transition first the artist and then the visitor through temporal experiences.
A nod to country minimalism - new modern rustic. Situated in a wooded area on a 10 acre lot in Ulster County, NY, the Catskills Cabin is the ideal get-away vacation dwelling. The cabin was imagined as an outdoor living room, nestled within nature. The final cabin size was informed by questions of just how much space is adequate to live simply or simply live.
Prefabricated offsite, the cabin is assembled leveraging prefab panels for the floor, walls and standard framing for the roof system which supports a standing seam metal roof. A paneled exterior enclosure, composed of cedar wood treated with tar oil to give it the black finish. Double insulated glass window panes and large sliding glass doors on both sides of the house open the entire cabin to the outdoors. A sliding dining/bar docks into place to create an outdoor patio for entertaining. Interior finishes include volcanic stone floor tiles and a mix of dark and white oak wood.
Dumbo’s Front Street is host to the new 10,000 sq ft loft space set in what was once a Benjamin Moore Paint Factory. 1stAveMachine is an award-winning production company based in Brooklyn, that prides itself on the success of a collaborative work environment of director’s artists, and designers. Taking inspiration from blended live workspaces and an interest in collaborative environments, the design promotes movement and conversation away from the confines of a desk or cubicle. Zones that inspire the exchange are integrated throughout. There is a picnic table for lunch breaks in an open kitchen with long tables and bar area. In addition to the workstations and three large edit suites, a second kitchen and lounge area with pool table and plasma TV provides a space where artists can take a break. Bike racks line the hallway just past a coffee bar where people can congregate for casual meetings.
Owned by chef Andy Hollyday and Evan Hansen, this Cass Corridor eatery has been named by the Detroit Free Press as the Restaurant of the Year 2015. The design of the space is intended to reflect the restaurant's modern take on a seasonal rustic-style cuisine.
Innocor Comfort, the industries leader in sleep innovation technology, revitalizes its showroom with a smart minimal design that compliments their core product line of bed pillows and mattresses. Housed in the historic Flat Iron district overlooking Madison Square Park, Innocor Comfort’s design centers around versatility. As a key design element for this multi-functioning space, versatility creates an opportunity for the internal Interior Design team to adapt the showroom to changing product lines each season.
Modular and mobile furniture aid in the reconfiguration of the main showroom space, while the floor plan is arranged primarily using a permeable and functional floor-to-ceiling wall display system. The project began with a study of circulation, paying particular attention to the organization between private and public spaces. Meeting spaces and the main showroom are visibly connected while physically partitioned. The display wall contains storage and hidden shelving, it is both divider and display for pillows of the moment and other showcased items. Two integrated modular wall panels pivot on caster wheels and can be positioned to extend into the main space or retract and become invisible depending on the needs of the day.
Challenged with designing a seamless transition between new kitchen and existing loft, layout constraints were seen as opportunities to introduce aesthetic and functional details in the concrete, used as a structural framework and finish material.
Key moments and details throughout the kitchen compliment the over arching principle of old and new. Examples include an integrated wine storage that can be seen as you enter their home, concrete indentations that channel water back to sink, and a gas range set into the concrete counter-top which maintains cohesion between kitchen functions.
The precision of manufactured geometric patterns found in tiles and cabinetry is contrasted with both natural patterns that result from curing concrete and the exposed knots and textures of wood elements.
From the street, a floor-to-ceiling storefront windows showcases the latest limited edition sneakers framed in a 10’ cube light sculpture that invites in the surrounding community. The light structure is an abstract take on a jungle gym with connotations of style and play, simultaneously evoking the hopscotch chalk lines or playgrounds from area parks and the flash of fashion runway. Brass mannequins live inside the light display,dressed with limited-edition apparel and sneakers with the occasional one-of-a-kind piece; hand-painted or customized by local artists.
The shop is lined with sections of steel shelving, displaying the latest styles of special issue sneakers and flat-brimmed hats. The east wall, still covered in partial layers of wallpaper and contains clues and dents from the location’s tumultuous days as a bookie gambling venue. The opposite wall contrasts with a hand-parged concrete veneer that serves as a background for colorful sneakers. Each display unit was designed and coordinated by et al. collaborative to elevate and curate the continuously changing collections.
Kee’s chocolates is a world renowned chocolatier situated at 80 Thompson St. in Soho, Manhattan. This interior renovation was completed in collaboration with Susan Sloan of slo.vis studio.
A floor to ceiling wood-slatted wall is integrated with Kee’s signature packaging boxes and links the front to the back of the interior space. As the wall turns the corner, missing slats provide views and ventilation into back of house space. A new maple wood vestisure wraps the refrigerated chocolate cases rendering a more continuous and uniform space. A laser cut map of Manhattan was designed to wrap the cases while paying homage to the surrounding neighborhood.
et al. collaborative was approached by Alumni co-owner, Gene Han, to redesign the new concept for the Crown Heights Brooklyn location for the recent rebranding of the store. Han and his family own a series of shoe stores across the Brooklyn area. Envisioning the Utica store as an anchor in the community, et al. was tasked with designing a flexible, safe, family-centered space that would serve as a positive influence on the surrounding neighborhood. As the neighborhood changes, Alumni hopes to continue to provide a space that impacts the quality and value of new development in the area.
This Park Slope home renovation was designed in collaboration with Susan Sloan of slo vis. The young family moving in envisioned a simple clean white palette.
Located in Detroit’s Historic Corktown neighborhood, the sophisticated yet humble renovation plays an integral part of the neighborhood’s cultural revival. The public presence of the historic facade provides the space with ample daylight and fresh air while rejuvenating the elegant details of the block. Reclaimed materials harvested from local buildings and milled by the owner were used in addition to period furniture pieces thus engaging the owners within the design process. Simple surface treatments create a calm atmosphere preserving center-stage for the customer.
Inner State Gallery's primary focus is on Urban Art. Working with leading and emerging artists from around the world, 1xRun is focused on bringing limited-edition time released artwork to collectors across the globe.
Drawn to the Eastern Market area in Detroit due to its increasing developing artist community, the 1xRun offices found an opportunity to continue their unique art distribution network in a new space, where single run prints and one offs can be printed on site, auctioned and showed publicly.
A new interior space layout arranged the existing function to house the 1st Floor Art Gallery, the 2nd floor 1xRun offices, and an art production basement with shipping & packaging.
Photography by Sal Rodriguez
Located along Detroit's Cass Corridor, Slows To-Go is the first extension of Detroit's successful Slows BBQ franchise. Housed in a renovated 1926 Secretary of State office building, a 4,000 sf commissary was combined with a 2,000 sf barbecue carry-out to increase the capacity and creativity of the original Corktown restaurant. The reclaimed wood utilized for the interior was harvested from a deconstructed and restored apartment building on a neighboring block. While the exterior of the project strictly adheres to national preservation standards, allowing it to receive federal historic tax-credits, the interior provides a strikingly contemporary and vibrant atmosphere that is more revealing of the attitudes of both client and clientele. In Collaboration with uRban Detail LLC
DIEM, a label already on the scene, envisions Pop Up shop during Art Basel. Their venue, a gallery space, turned into a temporary retail shop displays DIEM's latest fashion and their new 1992 line.
Our challenge, how to design a system that could work both as pop up retail concept and event.
A pallet of gold and white sets the background and mood for the 1992 line. The design is composed of 2 types of wooden lacquered painted modules. Loosely resembling Olympic Podiums a grid of merchandise and art is outlined. Displayed on top of or inside of the wooden podiums, the arrangement invites the visitors to meander and experience from multiple view points, front and back of merchandise is visible, the podiums offer maximum flexibility for display and interactivity.
Unity Gallega of the U.S. is a members only Spanish Cultural Club located in Queens NY, since the 1940's it has been dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Galician culture, folklore and traditions.
The club features activities and event spaces for its community. et al. has been currently working with their directors and others members to help re-program and re-design their existing 3 story facility.
The design of a 1,200 sf addition to a single family home that takes advantage of visual and physical connections of the indoor living spaces to the surrounding landscape. The project incorporates passive and active energy system upgrades for the home.
In collaboration with VolumeOne, LLC. et al. was approached by the client to envision a plan for a 165,858 SF / 1,5408 sqm site in the community of Corktown, Detroit.
The design for St. Vincent is comprised of individual building types to include a community center as well as single and multi- family housing.
In collaboration with the BioLINIA LLC, et al. was asked by the client to envision the expansion of the engaging food and cultural district just east of downtown Detroit. Each of the proposed spaces is to serve as an example of blending healthy living and production based spaces into our daily rituals. The proposed renovations are housed in vacant or underutilized buildings at opposite ends of the market and serve as invitations into the district.
Sited in the quiet laid back Swiss village of Cernier, et al. has currently been collaborating with Swiss Architect studio ATAU to develop a 4 phase master plan and the ten residential buildings that could be built for a total of 250,000 sq. feet. Pedestrian and vehicular access from below and atop the hill have been situated with regard to maximizing residential views while closely linking to the surrounding community. A green way acts as a spine connecting the new development while giving the public access to the series of parks and recreational green-scape(s).