Detroit Foundation Hotel | Architect Magazine


Project description

Design: McIntosh Poris Associates worked with the Aparium Hotel Group to convert the former Detroit Fire Department headquarters and the adjacent building previously known as the Pontchartrain Wine Cellars into the Detroit Foundation Hotel. Together, the two historically registered buildings will house 100 hotel rooms, office / conference rooms, Detroit-focused retail and a fitness center. The boutique hotel has a restaurant / lounge on the ground floor and a rooftop banquet room which is housed in a new building. The $ 28 million project includes a “Detroit State of Mind” to welcome visitors and locals alike with an authentic feel of the place.

The former headquarters of the Detroit Fire Department is located on the northeast corner of Washington Boulevard and West Larned Street and was originally built in 1929. Mcintosh Poris Associates worked with Architectural Salvage Warehouse Detroit to inventory, reclaim, and recycle the interior of the building from abandoned buildings across Detroit.

The existing facades of both buildings have been repaired and restored to preserve character. The decorative terracotta panels of the Detroit Fire Department Headquarters with fire department themes such as fire brigade busts, gripping on a hydrant, and winged figures with snake tails flanking a sign reading “DFD” have been repaired, cleaned and maintained. The original red doors of the fire engine will be restored and reused. The origins of the building are optimally used in the restaurant and bar with 150 seats on the ground floor in the former fire station and in the private dining room in the historic lounge.

Simeone Deary Design Group’s vision for the Detroit Foundation Hotel was to honor Detroit’s past and celebrate the city’s promising future. The concept was inspired by the idea of ​​“Coming Home to Detroit”. This inspiration led to the commitment to “Repurpose History” by taking historically relevant moments and materials from the fire department headquarters and Detroit and creating a contemporary design.

When entering the five-story neoclassical building through a massive arched portal with a terracotta face, originally one of the fire engine doors, guests are brought into a voluminous, one-and-a-half-story room that once housed fire engines. The space includes check-in, the lobby and a restaurant aptly named “The Apparatus Room”. Existing glazed brick tiles celebrate the building’s history, but the new finishes, decorative lighting, and interior design add to the modernity. An open exhibition kitchen and a rail system made of antique brass metal, reminiscent of a fire mast, lead through the restaurant and underline the strong architecture. The reception consists of vintage sideboards for found furniture. Video screens behind the desk show footage of local artisans and processors whose skills, craftsmanship and art flow into the hotel’s design. Above the head, a chandelier inspired by the building’s history resembles an abstract structure inspired by smoke.

The guest rooms, specially curated for Detroit, have repurposed panels and moldings as wall art installations. An unexpected nod to Fordite mining and photographs of Detroit’s historic architecture become an inlaid work of art. A color palette of deep chocolates and pastel metallic with accents of pink and blue reminiscent of the paintwork colors of automobiles from 1960 give the clean and modern rooms an unexpected hue. The furniture celebrates Detroit’s outstanding industrial design and is mixed with luxurious materials. A duct-tufted velvet sofa and a high-lacquered headboard with a soft curve are inspired by the craftsmanship of high-end automobiles and give a touch of nostalgia.

The Detroit Foundation Hotel is a collaboration between the city’s design, art, architecture and manufacturing communities. Celebrating community, social entrepreneurship and economic engagement are among the building blocks that inspired the collaboration between Aparium Hotels, McIntosh Poris Associates and the Simeone Deary Design Group.

Company: McIntosh Poris Associates is a full-service architecture, interior design and urban planning company. Founded in 1994 by Michael Poris, AIA, and the late Douglas McIntosh, the company transforms buildings, communities and urban centers into architecture created through dialogue. Since 1994, McIntosh Poris Associates has won more than 100 awards for single and multi-family, mixed-use, commercial, hospitality, institutional, and art projects across Michigan, New York, and Ontario for private, public, and non-private projects. Profit customers.

Subsidiaries: General contractor: Sachse Construction
Interior design, positioning / graphics and branding: Simeone Deary Design Group
MEP Engineer: MA Engineering
Civil Engineer: Structural Design, Inc.
Civil and Transportation Engineer: Giffels Webster
Light design: Illuminart
Acoustic design: soundscape
Conservation consultant: Kraemer Design Group
Food Service Consultant: The next step is design
Low voltage design: Sorbis


Dusty Kennedy