How Neumann/Smith Architecture is Redesigning Detroit, One Building at a Time
With 90+ categories and 300+ jurors, the Architizer A+Awards is the world’s definitive architectural awards program. We are pleased to showcase some of the 100+ winners. In partnership with Cadillac, this series of profiles offers an exclusive look at several firms that push the boundaries of the profession and truly dare greatly.
If you ever needed evidence that the best architectural solutions for a city can be provided by local firms, you needn’t look much further than Detroit, where Neumann/Smith Architects boasts nearly half a century of experience working throughout Michigan’s Motor City.
The Southfield-based firm scooped the 2015 A+Award, Popular Choice, for the Parking Structures category with the Z, a multistory garage that challenges the conventions associated with this traditionally utilitarian building typology. The parking lot was designed to accompany 33,000 square feet of new retail space aimed at revitalizing the area.
The main aim for the architects was to lift the project out of the ordinary confines of its genre and produce something bolder and more dynamic than is typically expected from such a functional structure. “The client challenged us to think outside of the box.
They wanted something that was unique, that was bold,” explains Neumann/Smith’s Design Director Scott Bonney. “You think about a parking garage; it’s normally a relatively mundane piece of architecture. They wanted it to be something spectacular.”