SmithGroup Offices – Detroit

  • Client SmithGroup,
  • size 45,000 sqft
  • Year 2021
  • Location Detroit, Michigan, United States,
  • Industry Architecture Firm,
  • SmithGroup designed an office to give their employees a more dynamic and inspiring work environment in Detroit, Michigan.

    SmithGroup has called Detroit “home” since founder Sheldon Smith settled his architecture practice there over 165 years ago. In 2019, the company reaffirmed its longstanding commitment to keep its operations in the city’s downtown and embarked upon the renovation of its workplace in the Guardian Building. The historic art deco icon was designed by the firm in the 1920s and served as its local base of operations since 1999.

    The renovation proved transformative, creating an agile, interactive and lively office that empowers employees to choose from a variety of work environments to accomplish a range of task-oriented needs. The open, flexible, sustainable design employs best practices gleaned from clients and projects and incorporates the most innovative interiors, furnishings, technologies and engineering systems to maximize the building’s performance.

    The concept of “working better” drove the design. Work zones flow from social to collaborative to quiet space as one moves from north to south across the floorplate. Each area is delineated by screens showcasing stylized bits of ornamentation from iconic SmithGroup-designed buildings. A new central stair was incorporated to provide convenient interior circulation, promote movement and foster connectivity among the staff.

    Completed in 2021, the new space creates a dynamic, future-focused workplace while honoring the firm’s history of design excellence and its Detroit heritage. It also sets a benchmark for future workplaces, boasting WELL and LEED Gold certifications.

    Design: SmithGroup
    Photography: Jason Robinson