Construction Season is here!

      Spring is here and we are excited to show you some shots of 4 different projects we have currently under construction in various phases. From foundations being poured to finishes being applied it is so gratifying to see the concepts we have worked on with our clients becoming a reality in the hands or our talented builders.

      Despite the chaos that a construction site may seem, these progress images always have a beauty and elegance that is wonderful to capture in its ever changing state.  We will keep you posted as we progress with each project!

From foundations . . .

Albert Street foundation

The ground being prepared for footings at our Eastside Super Insulated, Passive Solar house. We will keep fill you in as all of the sustainable elements are added! 

To Finishes . . .

The new range and stoves . . .

The new range and stoves . . .

We will have much more to show soon on our Shiras Hills Reno but we are so excited to see all the final details coming together for this special family.

The before and after shots are going to be quite dramatic!

The kitchen in progress . . .

The kitchen in progress . . .

Looking pretty close to our visualization!

Looking pretty close to our visualization!

What was . . .

What was . . .

What is . . . 

What is . . . 

What it's going to be!

What it's going to be!

Opening up the stairs at the entry was a move that has radically transformed the feel of the home!

To Framing . . .

Framing is underway for our cabin reconstruction at Witch Lake. This home will soon be much more accessible and efficient while keeping it's history and charm.

to Foundations again!

Another project we are thrilled to see start is this rehab and addition to an older home that is going to completely transform this site. Marrying traditional materials with a modern look this house will have an open and dramatic layout that pulls together the old and the new. Once again, more to come . . .

tO BE CONTINUED . . .

Pine Street Reveal -Part I

Let there be light! The house on Pine Street has been completed as of June. We have been doing finishing touches and moving in since then. We are happy to share photos with you. The original 2 bed/1 bath 1924 Craftsman style bungalow has been expanded into a 2 story home  with 4 beds and 3 baths.

Our aim with this project was to take a home that had some existing charm in a great location and bring it into the 21st century. The governing principle was to balance the old and the new, in design as well as materials, mixing clean and modern with elements that add texture and depth.  

We also strived to create a sophisticated and custom looking home while using off the shelf, affordable materials, and techniques in creative ways.

Living room fireplace to the north

Living room fireplace to the north

The palate is simple and dramatic with dark cobalt paint on the existing trim, white walls and light maple floors. This works well in the tall space and will allow us to use bright textiles and art to add color, warmth and interest. 

Living room south 

Living room south 

In the front living room we exposed the many southern windows by eliminating the den. This has brought light deep into the house and created a large front room in which we can create multiple seating areas while still having a large space to entertain.

Centralized kitchen looking toward stair and breakfast area

The Kitchen is now the center of the house with the stair, dining, breakfast, and living areas opening onto it. A large Island will eventually anchor this room. We added new windows on the kitchen wall and a windowed door to the backyard connecting the outdoor spaces with the interior. The large slate backsplash and stainless steel hood create a focal point on the long kitchen wall adding depth and texture. Wood butcher block countertops wrap the modern cabinets and refrigerator as well. 

Dining room looking toward kitchen

Dining room looking toward kitchen

Pantry cabinet wall

Pantry cabinet wall

A cutout in the pantry wall is also wrapped in wood and opens the breakfast room to the rest of the house  We accomplished this look using ikea base cabinets with locally sourced door fronts that we painted in a  deep saturated teal with brass hardware. It achieves a custom look while staying within a reasonable budget.

View from kitchen to dining and living rooms

View from kitchen to dining and living rooms

We strive to find moments like the opening onto the stair landing from below. Opportunities like this often present themselves as a project evolves. Being able to take advantage of them adds character and transparency to a home. 

Opening to stair landing

Opening to stair landing

Window at stair landing

Window at stair landing

Stairwell and Upstairs hallway

Stairwell and Upstairs hallway

The new stairwell is a room of its own. Its ascending height and vertical window create an elegant gallery like space that draws you up to the second floor. The doors and frames that were eliminated on the first floor were reused on the second floor bedrooms. This brings some older detailing to the new upstairs build. 

Child's room

Child's room

Child's room

Child's room

Additional light was brought into the childrens' rooms by adding small porthole sized windows designed to fit easily between the framing studs. They are already favorite spots for the kids to gaze. We refinished the existing douglas fir attic floor, adding yet another element bringing age, depth and texture. The roof pitch is reflected in the bedroom ceilings recalling the sloped ceiling bedrooms of many of the traditional homes in the area. 

Master bedroom

Master bedroom

Bathroom

Bathroom

The bathrooms used off the shelf products in an interesting way to create fun and efficient spaces. 

Closing credits:

This project is the product of the hard work of many tradespeople, family and friends. We are thankful for their help and honored to acknowledge them!

General Contractor - Wilbur Construction, LLC                                                                                             HVAC and Plumbing Contractor - Trudell  Plumbingand Heating                                                                      Electrical Contractor - Mandel Electric                                                                                                   Wood Floor refinishing - Charlie Kronschnabel at U.P. Wood Flooring                                                 Window Contractor - Joe Dost at Pella Windows                                                                                 Custom Cabinet Doors by North Oak Manufacturing

Additional thanks to Ben Thierry, Charlie Hill, David Rom, Sean Leahy and Julie Laituri Olson at Select Realty, Lowe's Marquette, Mbank

 

 

 

A sense of home

       Everyone one of us has a sense in our mind that represents home, be it a memory, an idea or an aspiration. Embarking on a residential project whether it is a small renovation or a new construction should be a journey towards uncovering and developing that sense, and the result should be timeless. Engaging the services of an architect can turn what may seem like a daunting undertaking, involving seemingly endless technical and design choices, into a joyful one by guiding you through the process while helping you discover what really matters to you in a home.

        Your home is the intersection of the financial and the personal.  A successful residential project balances these considerations and hopefully goes beyond to achieve something greater than the sum of its parts. We all know what if feels like to enter a space that fills you up, and inspires you. The way the light lives in a room. A sense of proportion and space. It goes beyond creating a single wow moment or having one element that says luxury. It is about creating a function and a flow of space that makes your home live, breathe and grow with your family. The truest function of an architect is to study all of the considerations from the mundane to the intangible, guiding you through the choices that get the most out of your budget, site and structure while reaching for that greater sense of home. 

          For many people, their residential project may be the only time they ever deal with a contractor. The reality is, an excellent contractor is not necessarily the best person to walk you through the design process. The architect is trained to mediate the space between finding the solutions to your desires for your home and executing that vision. With knowledge of construction, cost, sustainable technology, municipal and zoning considerations and the latest materials and products available an architect will walk you through the process and help ensure that you achieve your vision for your home. 

3D model interior visualization

3D model interior visualization

       One of the key tools an architect utilizes to uncover your vision are visual programs to create plans and three dimensional models that can help you see the impact of the different choices available to you. Being able to sit with multiple floor plan options or travel through a three dimensional model are invaluable tools in helping you work through your options and feel confident about your choices. It also helps you understand the issues and ramifications on construction that will arise and helps to avoid unanticipated problems.     

Plan options for a kitchen renovation

Plan options for a kitchen renovation

Example of a Material Board

Example of a Material Board

         An architect is equally as thorough in helping you choose materials, providing multiple physical samples for you to touch, mix and match while educating you on the properties of each.  Assembling these samples together can give you a strong sense of the way the materials will come together to create the sensibility you desire whether it be warmth, sleekness, rusticity or modernity. 

3D model Exterior Visualization

3D model Exterior Visualization

        Many feel that this level of service and attention is out of their reach but we have found over and over that bringing on an architect reduces or maintains overall cost through upfront planning and organization, allowing you to create greater resale value while making the process a joyful rather than trepidatious one. 

Thoughts on the Ore Dock

A few thoughts on a beloved Marquette icon . . .

One of the strongest sources of inspiration for the work we do as architects is the site itself. A mixture of topography, region, orientation, light, zoning and history come together at any given site to create a condition that is completely unique. For our family, moving to Marquette was very much inspired by the identity of this city and region which is so closely entwined with the particulars of this location.  A city on a Lake . . the North Coast . .  deep roots in mining and Great Lake shipping. These are the qualities every site in this region carries with it. And none more deeply than the Ore Dock in Marquette's Lower Harbor.  

The Ore Dock is such a large and permanent structure that even though it is man made, built strong and intended to be tremendously functional, it has taken on the characteristics of a beloved but unreachable element of the geography.

A proud butte jutting into Lake Superior.                 An iconic component of the vista.                   Something we look at but don't touch.

                      But what if . . . 

What if we view the Ore Dock as a gift handed down from a past generation for us to use for purposes that are relevant today. What if we embrace it as the keystone in the the recent development of our Lakeshore that has restored access to the public. These were the thoughts tossing around our restless architect minds when we happened upon a bunch of like minded individuals with wildly ranging skill sets. And that is how we came to be a part of the Friends of the Ore Dock Boteco Center.

View of the Proposed BotEco Center from the shore

View of the Proposed BotEco Center from the shore

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The BotEco Center will first and foremost serve the purpose of bringing public access to the Ore Dock. We envision a lively boardwalk around the perimeter and possibly through the interior of the structure. In addition to public access we can imagine any number of events or functions occurring here. 

The construction of the BotEco Center would be implemented in phases and a public boardwalk represents the first phase.

To the right is a view of the far eastern end of the BotEco Center including a potential plaza and amphitheater space. 

A view of the BotEco Center from Mattson Lower Harbor Park

A view of the BotEco Center from Mattson Lower Harbor Park

The Ore Dock is 900 feet long and 55,000 square feet. It is quite impressive and yet it is only 25 percent of the interior volume of space of the Superior Dome! 

Our team is committed to making the Ore Dock habitable in a way that would prioritize its historic preservation and limit its impact via sustainable development. 

In addition to the perimeter public board walk the BotEco Center would provide year round interior garden spaces. A space filled with nature and greenery would provide an oasis in the deep winter months.

The Program for BotEco will include public spaces, retail, conferencing center, research facilities, amenities, amphitheater, roof top exterior park space and an urban plaza.

Our goal with the BotEco Center program is to engage and exceed the master plan recommendations as set forth by the city commission. This project would complete the renaissance of development that is Marquette's Lower Harbor.

1014 PINE STREET

Off with the roof!

Existing roof removed

Existing roof removed

Existing Exterior View

Existing Exterior View

It has been a busy winter here at Studio RAD.        

In addition to our other projects,  we bought a house on the east side of Marquette and are doing a full renovation to it. The house is a charming 1924 bungalow on a large lot just a few blocks from Lake Superior. We decided it would be a great opportunity for us to create a modern home that functions well for the way families live today while still keeping a lot of the charm that an older house has to offer. 

The original layout was one floor comprising of two bedrooms, a small kitchen, a dining room, living room and den. An attic was accessed via hatch and the basement was clean but unfinished.

Proposed Exterior View

Proposed Exterior View

The distinctive roof shape is achieved by installing pre-manufactured trusses on exterior walls that ascend and descend to create the folded shape. This dynamic form allows us to keep the front low in keeping with the neighborhood and is acheived using traditional and economical building practices. 

 

Progress view of new dining room

Progress view of new dining room

Our plans involve completely changing the layout of the first floor to centralize the kitchen and open the house to access the light coming in from the south. We eliminated a bedroom on the first floor which allowed us to create an L shaped space that has a breakfast area on one side and a dining area on the other. The L configuration allows us to open up the existing small rooms so common to many older homes while still having distinct spaces.  

New beams and column

New beams and column

 
Progress view of new stair and breakfast room

Progress view of new stair and breakfast room

A new stair off the kitchen will lead to the new second floor with three bedrooms and two baths.

 

The addition of several LVL beams supported by steel columns that will be concealed in the walls allow us to open the space as we wish with minimal impact.

Roof demo

Roof demo

Blue skies on a beautiful February Marquette day!

 

The challenge of doing this project over the course of a Marquette winter has meant that some creative solutions were used to remove and install the second floor quickly. Our amazing crew assembled the exterior walls in the attic prior to roof demo. 

Exterior walls being assembled in attic

Exterior walls being assembled in attic

The roof was removed in a day and the previously assembled exterior walls were lifted into place the very next day. That was Monday and Tuesday! Today is Wednesday and the trusses have arrived and will begin to be placed today! We hope to have the roof sheathed by the end of the week. One week of kind weather and an innovative and methodical construction team are allowing us to achieve great things!

Exterior walls being erected

Exterior walls being erected

As you can see we are off to a swift and exciting start. I look forward to keeping you posted on our progress. 

Thank you to Wilbur Construction LLC  for helping us get to this point. 

Perhaps you are thinking about doing some improvements to your older home? It is amazing what is possible with a bit of thoughtful design and a modest budget.

We would love to talk to you about any projects you have in mind!

And the Trusses arrive!

And the Trusses arrive!

Rammed Earth Study I

We spent part of July at our place in Calumet doing informal rammed earth test studies. Wanting to keep our first foray simple, we used bricks with ratchet straps as a mold and dirt collected from the backyard as the substance. Joe rammed using a wooden stick he found site. Claire added her expertise to the event. The addition of binders and sealers will be necessary but we wanted to see how the soil held up on its own. We will leave them outside to see how the weather over the next few months. We are excited about the potential of this product for its beauty, sustainability and thermal properties. We are already thinking about future applications once we get the technique mastered.