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Creating Beautiful Spaces

As a leading firm based in the Detroit area since 2000, Albert Kahn Associates, Inc. has been creating stunning structures that shine. Inspired by urban cityscapes, our designs emphasize beauty, flexibility and purpose. We’re passionate about what we do and know that what matters most is the vision of our clients. Get in touch to learn more about our work and what we can do for you.

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

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STEPHEN A. WHITE, ASLA, LEED AP®, OALA, CSLA

Director of Urban Design & Landscape Architecture

As a leader at Kahn, Stephen’s responsibilities start with seamlessly designing inspired environments; respectfully collaborating with clients, team members, contractors and consultants to masterfully and efficiently balance complex projects with thoughtful, contextual solutions. White’s process-driven, collaborative approach comes from his passion to have positive and meaningful impacts on people and environments, creating sustainable spaces and strategies that help improve the lives of each project’s community. With decades of diverse experience in both the public and private sectors, White’s knowledge encompasses all elements of landscape architecture, urban design, master planning, environmental site design, place making and recreational planning.

SELECT PROJECT EXPERIENCE

Detroit Riverwalk - GM Riverfront Promenade, Mt. Elliott Park, UniRoyal Riverwalk Extension | City of Birmingham - Shain Park Improvement Project | Lawrence Technological University - Taubman Complex, Southfield, MI | College for Creative Studies - A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education, Detroit, MI | Michigan State University - Energy & Automotive Research Laboratory, East Lansing, MI | Oakland University - Elliott Hall of Business & Information Technology, Rochester, MI | Wayne State University - Downtown Campus Master Plan, Detroit, MI | University of Detroit Mercy - McNichols Campus, Detroit, MI | Ferris State University - Granger Center, Big Rapids, MI | Greater Essex County District School Board -Dr. David Suzuki Public School, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE PROJECTS

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DETROIT RIVERWALK | GM RIVERFRONT PROMENADE

Detroit, Michigan

GM’s Riverfront Plaza and Promenade is a result of General Motors’ commitment to investing in the “rebirth” of Detroit’s downtown.  The renovations to the Renaissance Center extended out to the public in this outdoor park.  By connecting the City of Detroit to the riverfront with public gathering spaces and walking paths. This was the first of what was to become the first half-mile of the Detroit RiverWalk, a linear park transforming under-utilized properties into a vital community asset.

Incorporating a granite-paved plazas, terraced seating, and a concrete paver promenade. The riverfront is now the stage for riverfront festivals, and weekday respites for Detroit workers and visitors alike.  Tasteful landscaping, a programmable fountain, outdoor furniture and lighting all contribute to connecting the community in an outdoor experience that is transforming the quality of life for residents, workers and visitors in Detroit.

This project is an example of the collaboration innate to Kahn’s culture as we led the design team including Hargreaves Associates. We also engaged a variety of community voices to embrace the Detroit Riverfront.

WASHTENAW COMMUNITY COLLEGE | MASTER PLAN UPDATE

Ann Arbor Township, Michigan

Washtenaw Community College, located in Ann Arbor Township, MI is a vibrant community college which draws students from many different parts of the state, country, and world.  The forward-thinking administration is focused on current trends in post-secondary education and has challenged Kahn with incorporating this data to update their master plan to meet student needs and expectations.  The master plan update focuses less on building development and more on landscape character, student amenities, connectivity between existing buildings and departments, facility improvements, and most importantly the on-campus experience for each student.

Several meetings, presentations, and open houses with administration, boards, and staff gave the Kahn team the background and understanding to develop a list of recommendations, which drove the decisions to the master plan layout.  Some elements includes:

- Improved perimeter landscape connecting the campus to the township.
- Main and secondary vehicular gateway improvements.
- Improved student plazas for social gatherings and   events.
- Strengthened promenades connecting plazas.
- Enhanced connection between the north and south   campuses.
- Locations for food trucks.
- Improved transit pickup-drop-off and circulation.


DETROIT RIVERFRONT CONSERVANCY | MT. ELLIOTT PARK

Detroit, MIchigan

Mt Elliott Park is a transformation from a secluded park along the East Detroit riverfront to a destination node along the expanding Detroit RiverWalk. Extending from the Civic Center Riverfront Promenade, the RiverWalk linear park has become an outdoor thoroughfare for bicyclist, runners and walkers, engaging the community with the riverfront. Kahn engaged the community in the development of the site masterplan, to bring life to this historic park. Mt Elliott Park has been repurposed into a modern park with elements found in the finest parks including a “Great Lakes Beached Schooner” water feature.  This custom designed sculpture and interactive water display doubles as a high energy splash pad that encourages families down to the river for refreshing play on hot summer days.  The park is landmarked with a tensile structure pavilion housing family oriented restrooms, concession stand, seating areas as well as a security station. A playful pattern of accessible paths swirl through the grassy lawns inviting visitors to explore the park’s other features including musical equipment, and fishing piers.

In addition to the creating a delightful experience for the community, Kahn planned for sustainability by harvesting stormwater in sub-surface cisterns to provide site irrigation for the native and hardy plantings.

CITY OF BIRMINGHAM | SHAIN PARK IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

Birmingham, Michigan

Expanding the impact of Shain Park, Birmingham’s central park, to become a destination for community gathering and event space was the vision for Birmingham City leaders. Understanding the desire to create a vibrant destination point within the city not only has an economic impact for local businesses, but enhances the quality of life for the community. 

Kahn engaged the community to listen to the various voices of what they would like to experience. This feedback inspired the existing park’s expansion to an updated Town-Square concept. Beginning with relocating the sculpture “Freedom of the Human Spirit” to be the center focus, with radial pathways, plantings, and ceremonial lawns as a backdrop for various events and festivals. The park expansion included transforming Merrill Street into a granite pedestrian walkway while the adjacent parking lot was converted to the expanded park. Site elements include a children’s park, decorative fountain, and a contemporary trellis which doubles as a band shell and stage while the adjacent open lawn accommodates public seating.  Sustainable features are incorporated to provide long life and efficient operations.

Whether strolling the decorative concrete walkways, seeing the joy on children’s faces, or hearing the music from the stage, Shain Park has become a vital part in the fabric of the Birmingham community.

ARCHITECTURE

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PANKAJ M. PATEL, AIA, LEED AP® BD+C

Senior Architect

Pankaj Patel has worked with a variety of clients within the educational, healthcare, corporate and industrial markets. His attention to detail and flexible design philosophy have helped numerous clients realize the best design intent and technical integrity for their project. As Project Architect, Pankaj will coordinate, manage and define tasks and goals for the technical team. He takes pride in his work and makes it a priority to ensure a successful outcome for each project.

SELECT PROJECT EXPERIENCE

Detroit Public Schools - Elementary School Prototypes & Detroit School of Arts | Michigan State University - Engineering Building, Energy & Automotive Research Laboratory | Washtenaw Community College - Gunder Myran Technology Educational Building | Wayne County Community College District - Northwest Campus Master Plan | Detroit Zoological Society - DZS Anaerobic Digester, DZS Bat Conservation, Animal Hospital Complex, Japanese Salamader, Polk Penguin Conservation Center | Acheson Ventures, LLC - Desmond Landing | Auto-Owners Insurance - IT Operational Services Building & Remote Disaster Recovery Data Center | Delta Dental of Michigan - Corporate Office & Remote Data Center | Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority - Cobo Conference and Exhibition Center | Mercedes-Benz U.S. International - M-Class Manufacturing Plant Complex Childcare & Wellness Center | Michigan Department of Transportation - Detroit East Riverfront RiverWalk | Owens-Illinois - Global Headquarters | Ren Cen Associates, LLC  - General Motors Plaza & Promenade at Renaissance Center

ARCHITECTURE PROJECTS

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OAKLAND UNIVERSITY | WILSON HALL

rochester, Michigan

Kahn is currently working in conjunction with Oakland University (OU) in Rochester Hills, MI to collaboratively create an expansion of Wilson Hall.

The original challenge was to consolidate all administration and leadership into one building, while also allowing the space to be student oriented and accessable. Kahn’s team assembled 27 different departments, eventually creating not one, but four different options for OU officials to choose from. 

This solution consists of a four story building located lakefront on Bear Lake in North Campus. The convenient location is situated next to two parking lots for ample visitor space, and creates a beacon for north campus that was missing prior. Placed on a hill that slopes down towards the lake, Kahn’s team incorporated a walk-out basement foundation design, allowing for light to stream into all levels, each floor boasting views of the water. The main entrance is located on the first-floor basement level, with this and the second level designed entirely around student engagement. These offerings include services like tutoring and open study spaces to allow for a quiet place to learn while overlooking the scenic campus. A collaborative, interactive stair could potentially connect all four floors, with learning pods placed in the center of the stair’s spiral, acting as landings, or “study pods”, that students can occupy. It was important to leadership, however, to have this feature staircase granting access to both the student center and administrative services, to promote connectivity and openness within the building while still granting privacy for leadership.

ERIE-WESTERN PORT AUTHORITY

Erie, Pennsylvania




Helping Port Erie craft a destination for the 85 million people that live near this international Industrial Center hub required visionary place making from the team at Kahn. With the mission of promoting industrial, commercial and recreational opportunities on Presque Isle Bay/adjacent waters, the client wanted this natural bay to entice visitors and residents alike by creating a sense of place where people not only want to spend their time, but go out of their way to experience.

Kahn’s team was brought in by the client to help build consensus on what this port should look like from the eyes of not only stakeholders in this development, but from the community and the port’s U.S and Canadian visitors as well.

The plan recommendations included Eight Great Ideas:

1. Develop Dobbins Landing as the ‘town square’ of the coastline and improve connection to the downtown.
2.Redevelop the aging McAllister Place into a thriving mixed-use waterfront destination with retail, food and entertainment uses.
3. Support the boaters with improved marina services and relocated boat storage facilities.
4. Take Liberty Park to the next level by removing the boat storage yard and adding additional gathering and recreational uses.
5. Celebrate the 1818 constructed Erie Land Lighthouse.
6. Support the campers with improved and expanded services and amenities at the Lampe Campground.
7. Further enhance existing natural features, including improvements and access to Cascade Creek and the bluffs.
8. Prepare for new and creative land use options, which include a new waterfront corporate campus, and re-mediation and eventual recreational uses for an adjacent coke production facility.
 
This goal was achieved through public consultation and surveying to ensure all voices were heard when creating this new destination. The end result of this consensus building was a framework plan for future investments and developments over the next 20 years, with a thrilled client who now has the tools needed to build a unique environment that matches their community’s vision.

TRINITY HEALTH CHELSEA COMMUNITY HOSPITAL CANCER CENTER - PHASE 3

CHELSEA, MICHIGAN

In order to meet the various needs of its community, Chelsea Community Hospital embarked upon its largest construction project ever. The new Cancer Center was the third phase of the hospital expansion. The Cancer Center expanded upon the previous cancer services by doubling capacity for infusion and chemotherapy as well as the addition of the linear accelerator, the latest approach to image-guided, intensity modulated radiation therapy. They now offer a wider range of cancer treatments in one place.


A collaborative pre-design process with patients and their families helped shape the healing environment by providing valuable insight to the design team. Their feedback inspired the design. The combination of state-of-the-art treatment equipment, patient and family privacy, with the peaceful and tranquil environment assure the highest level of care for patients in cancer treatment.

INTERIOR DESIGN

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CHRISTINE TRUPIANO, CHID, ASID, LEED AP® ID+C

DIRECTOR OF Interior Design

As a talented interior designer, Christine Trupiano’s imagination and creativity are at the forefront of every project she undertakes. Through her leadership, vision and passion, Chris manipulates interior elements, such as the arrangement of space, finish materials, interior lighting and details, to create an interior environment that appeals to the senses while fully serving the desired functionality for your project.

SELECT PROJECT EXPERIENCE

The University of Michigan - Media Union, Dearborn Campus, East Ann Arbor MRI/CT Addition, Dearborn Humanities Department Renovations | Lawrence Technological University - Taubman Engineering, Life Sciences, and Architecture Building | Central Michigan University - Education & Human Services Building | College for Creative Studies - A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education | Detroit Public Schools - East English Village Preparatory Academy | Oakland University - Elliott Hall of Business & Information Technology | University of Chicago Medicine - 3rd & 4th Floor Patient Floor Build Outs, Patient Food Service Kitchen Renovation, Dialysis Support Space

INTERIOR DESIGN PROJECTS

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COLLEGE FOR CREATIVE STUDIES -A. ALFRED TAUBMAN CENTER FOR DESIGN EDUCATION

Detroit, Michigan

Detroit-based College for Creative Studies (CCS) began exploring opportunities that would address its growth needs. Located one mile from the college’s main campus in the Cultural Center, the 11-story, 760,000 sq. ft. Argonaut Building was a dream come true. Designed by Albert Kahn as General Motors’ Engineering and Design Center, it is now home to the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education, a mixed-use educational complex housing offices for non-profit organizations, a business accelerator, shared public spaces, academic space and student housing for CCS’ undergraduate/graduate design schools.

It also serves as an 800-pupil charter school for the Henry Ford Academy. After weeks of programming meetings with the CCS team, the Henry Ford Learning Institute and potential tenants, the Kahn team established occupant needs. Planning exercises were conducted to determine how the Argonaut Building could best meet needs identified in the programming sessions. Design concepts implemented planning criteria in an exciting and cost effective manner, including the addition of a large floor opening in the lobby area, re-cladding the arched ceiling of the original design laboratory for use as an auditorium, reuse of an abandoned elevator shaft for a stairwell and fresh air intakes on each floor. Construction of a gymnasium and support spaces augmented the adaptive reuse of this building.

LAWRENCE TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY | TAUBMAN COMPLEX

SOUTHFIELD, MICHIGAN

The LTU Taubman Complex serves as the connecting link between the Life Sciences and Engineering programs, and is home to the Marburger STEM Center. It involves a dynamic assembly of research spaces in a community setting, with flexible spaces to encourage interdisciplinary connections, facilitate social exchange and accommodate different departments as they grow.

The entry forms a new gateway to the campus quad with an open breezeway. It is considered a minimalist design with an “orb”-shaped grand staircase that rises from the entrance portal as the anchor. The staircase, with its unique shape, is sheathed in a state-of-the-art material- a reformulation of carbon fiber. Since carbon fiber is in its infancy as an architectural building material, the carbon fiber sheathing pioneers the combination of structural and non-structural carbon fiber specifications.

The “orb” was designed to cantilever over a large reflecting pool and encloses a stairway with an ocular shaped skylight that lets light stream through to the pool below. There are conference rooms, faculty offices and laboratories that delineate an extended double-height flex area which runs the length of the building. The two story space is a flexible learning and research center for LTU’s nationally recognized programs.

ENGINEERING

Mechanical  | Electrical | Research & Development

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ENGINEERING PROJECTS

Mechanical  | Electrical | Research & Development


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MERCURY MARINE

Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

With expertise in acoustical design and engineering, Kahn was contracted to design a Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH) testing facility for Mercury Marine.


Previously, Mercury Marine fought noise infiltration from the ground, the walls, and the roof of their cramped facility, which limited production and negatively impacted testing results. The new building needed to improve the accuracy of their tests for their newly developed products including a 1,000-horsepower boat motor. Kahn proposed a solution to isolate the vibration noise: an encased testing facility within an office building.


The first floor features engineering spaces with an isolated, independent testing facility negating outside noise infiltration. Within a glass façade, the second floor houses office workspaces utilizing furniture concepts that promote collaboration among the teams. Not only were the technical needs of the client met, but as with all Kahn projects, the final building transformed their corporate image and became an icon on the campus.

FORD MOTOR COMPANY - DRIVING DYNAMICS LAB

Dearborn, Michigan

The Driving Dynamics Lab (DDL) building is located trackside at Ford’s Dearborn Proving Ground. This three-story facility, with a footprint of 70,000 sq. ft., is one of the first buildings to rise out of Ford’s master plan for transforming their Dearborn Campus, and is another example of Kahn’s ability to coordinate highly complex process equipment and research/development laboratory and test equipment. 

The first floor includes a vehicle garage, test lab and shop space to support trackside operations. The second floor includes labs, fabrication shops, storage lockers and equipment rooms. The third floor includes engineering offices and test track viewing areas.

A portion of the first floor will be dedicated to noise and vibration testing. At 5,800 sq. ft., this facility includes a Hybrid Acoustic Test Chamber and adjoining control room along with a sound transmission loss suite. This chamber will accommodate a large range of test vehicles, is capable of environmental temperature testing and includes an all-wheel drive chassis rolls dynamometer.

Several meetings, presentations, and open houses with administration, boards, and staff gave the Kahn team the background and understanding to develop a list of recommendations, which drove the decisions to the master plan layout.  Some elements includes:

- Improved perimeter landscape connecting the campus to the township.
- Main and secondary vehicular gateway improvements.
- Improved student plazas for social gatherings and   events.
- Strengthened promenades connecting plazas.
- Enhanced connection between the north and south   campuses.
- Locations for food trucks.
- Improved transit pickup-drop-off and circulation.


  

DETROIT ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY | PENGUIN CONSERVATION CENTER

Royal Oak, Michigan

Designed as an unparalleled tribute to penguin health, exhibition and study, this conservation center will embody the spirit of the Antarctic, be a haven to penguins and allow guests to interact with these dynamic creatures. 

         

Considered one of the most significant additions to the zoo, this advanced setting will be the largest attraction housed on the zoo’s conservation campus. The conservatory features such elements as a 24-foot deep water pool and environmental amenities that exceed what currently exists in penguin exhibits. Accommodating four species of penguins, the center’s exterior is comprised of a number of physical elements that evoke a range of arctic conditions. The environment is meant to educate visitors on the effects of the earth’s climate on Antarctica.

Key sustainable facets include a super insulated exterior enclosure that reduces overall HVAC consumption, HVAC systems designed to reduce energy usage, interior lighting completely powered by photovoltaic panels, advanced water recirculation/filtration features, and exhibits with skylights which reduce the need for artificial illumination.

AWARDS
2017 Association of Zoos & Aquariums
2017 ESD Outstanding Achievement Award For Design &
  Construction
2017 ENR Pyramid Best Project Team
2017 ENR Best of the Best Overall US
2016 ENR Best of the Best, Sports/Entertainment
2016 ENR Midwest Best of the Best , Sports Entertainment
2017 Washtenaw Contractors Association Pyramid Award
  for Best Project Team
2016 CAM Construction Association of Michigan Crystal,
  Best Project of the Year
2016 AGC Build Michigan Award

DETROIT ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY | ANAEROBIC DIGESTER

Royal Oak, Michigan

Albert Kahn Associates continues to look for new ways to take care of our environment. Our newest innovative project, the Detroit Zoological Society’s Biodigester, is once again highlighting the creativity of Kahn architects and engineers in partnership with Michigan State University and our environmentally conscious clients. Together, we seek new ways to conserve energy, save money and be responsible citizens of the earth.

The Zoo’s new Biodigester is the first ever built in a North American zoo that uses the animal waste of zoo animals to generate electrical power for the zoo itself. The zoo will no longer manage the removal of almost 400 tons of manure annually to off-site locations for disposal or incur the costs.

The facility is like a mechanical stomach. It is fed with organic material which is broken down (decomposed) by micro-organisms (bacteria) in an oxygen-free (anaerobic) environment to produce a renewable energy called biogas (methane and carbon dioxide). As a simplified description of a highly engineered and scientific process-- the biogas will be converted to electrical power. The new digester intends to generate power for the Ruth Roby Clancy Animal Health Complex with anticipated savings to the zoo of $120,000 annually.

313.202.7000

Fisher Building
3011 W. Grand Blvd., Suite 1800
Detroit, MI 48202-3000

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©2019 by Albert Kahn Associates, Inc.