Detroit Labs – Detroit Offices

  • Client Detroit Labs,
  • size 12,000 sqft
  • Year 2013
  • Location Detroit, Michigan, United States,
  • Industry Technology,
  • Kraemer Design Group has created the office space for Detroit-based tech startup Detroit Labs.

    Growing technology start-up Detroit Labs, creator of award-winning mobile applications, required a flexible space that was as unique as they are and would allow for seamless collaboration throughout the office. However, as residents of a 1920’s Detroit building, the company also had to be mindful of preservation standards and historic integrity when it came to design. Kraemer Design Group was able to give them the best of both worlds by creating a space that was both “contemporary cool” and “vintage-industrial” by repurposing the building’s raw materials.

    Kraemer Design Group was able to tactfully juxtapose historic elements with contemporary materials, which led them to highlight the historic integrity of the space rather than detract from it. The most innovative move the Kraemer Design Group team made was opening the two-story suite by cutting the center of the sixth floor to generate an important visual connection with the space below. The wood joists that were removed for the floor opening were then repurposed into different elements throughout the space; handrail brackets, windowsills, stud screen walls and window casing. Black pipe, typically used for sprinkler lines, was secured to salvaged wood studs to create an awards display and screen wall that separates the kitchen area from the restrooms. Team rooms, used for small conferences and collaborative work, are located at the creative epicenter of the space on both floors and surrounded by adaptable open office workstations. The design has enhanced their collaborative work style, as staff can share ideas right from the second story; plus, it is quick and easy to gather everyone for frequent brainstorming and problem-solving meetings.

    The vintage rough sawn finish, contrasting with the fresh cut edges on many of the salvaged materials provides an extra level of detail that blends perfectly with the rest of the finishes. The completed space comfortably houses all of Detroit Labs’ employees, has plenty of room for future growth and now drives the creative and inspiring atmosphere this inventive company thrives on.

    Design: Kraemer Design Group
    Photography: John D’Angelo, Kraemer Design Group