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PROJECT In 2014 property investment and management company, Princeton Enterprises LLC hired Detroit based architectural firm, Centric Design Studio to design a second location of The David Klein Gallery in the Claridge House on Washington Blvd in Detroit, MI. The goal for this project was to open a Detroit flagship location while maintaining the existing gallery at 163 Townsend St, Birmingham, MI. David Klein, as quoted in Crain’s Detroit Business, “When you say to a nationally known artist, ‘Oh, come show in Birmingham,’ they roll their eyes,” he said. “But when you say Detroit, they get excited. That has happened in the past five years as things have developed downtown (Detroit). Centric Design Studio (CDS) met with David and listened to his vision on how he wanted to display the artwork at this gallery. CDS went to work identifying where all of the programming spaces should go (reception area, galleries, storage, office and restrooms) while incorporating David’s vision. The result is a seamless fusion of the existing classical architecture of the space and the contemporary vision David wanted. CDS designed the gallery to be very functional with both open, free flowing spaces and intimate viewing experiences. This amazing gallery is another great addition to Detroit’s great comeback story. - Damon Thomas - Design Director for Centric Design Studio


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BEFORE When Centric Design Studio (CDS) was hired to redesign this space, it was a retail store that sold various items from books, clothing, incense and oils. The original entry lobby was a large space with open views into the retail oor area. The retail area had a raised oor (pictured above) with recessed alcove spaces for various displays.

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AFTER The gallery owner wanted a reception desk to greet visitors. The large lobby was perfect because the desk would not clutter the space or make the lobby feel smaller. CDS removed the raised oor for accessibility and discovered an existing hardwood oor beneath, which worked very well with the existing architecture detail we wanted to save and restore. Although, the existing alcove spaces worked well for retail displays, they were covered to provide maximum wall space for hanging art exhibits.

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BEFORE The existing retail space had a mezzanine. Initially, CDS explored keeping this space intact as it could provide an additional gallery area with a dynamic view, looking down on the main gallery. The existing mezzanine provided some interesting , but also provided diďŹƒcult challenges starting with accessibility issues of getting people to and forth from the mezzanine with no elevator.

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AFTER Ultimately CDS decided to remove the mezzanine to avoid the costly construction and maintenance of an elevator. This also allowed the gallery to have more wall area for additional artwork display.

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BEFORE This photo is a view from the rear of the retail space, looking toward the entry (lobby). Another challenge in keeping the existing mezzanine is the low head room of 7 feet (both above and below the mezzanine).

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AFTER Another beneďŹ t of removing the mezzanine was the design of a continuous, high ceiling that would not feel claustrophobic. This continuous high ceiling provides the gallery guest with the best experience. The existing column (pictured on page 6) was not removed but encased in a stud and drywall enclosure (pictured above) that served two purposes’: Additional wall space for art and Additional storage space.

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BEFORE Pictured above is another view from the rear of the retail space looking toward the entry lobby.

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AFTER This photo is another view of the same gallery room pictured on page 7.

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BEFORE As mentioned, CDS planned and designed needed spaces for artwork storage, private viewing and an oďŹƒce area for administration functions. Pictured above are these areas under construction.

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AFTER Pictured above are the completed art storage, private viewing and oďŹƒce areas equipped with a kitchen that serves as a useful and functional area for catered exhibit openings.

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BEFORE Pictured above is the existing retail oor area and lobby entrance.

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AFTER Pictured here, the existing retail oor area has been redesigned as the main gallery room with artwork on full display.

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BEFORE Another view from the existing retail oor area.

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AFTER The re-designed retail oor space is transformed into the art gallery space.

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BEFORE Pictured above is the existing suite under construction. Stud framing and plywood cover the existing retail display alcoves (left) and stud framing starts to form the second gallery room (background).

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AFTER After construction, the lobby and main gallery room is an open, free owing space that displays artwork (of all sizes) beautifully. Centric Design Studio took great care with the design to preserve the characteristics of the existing architecture (columns, cornice work and existing terrazzo ooring). The result is a seamless blend of modern and classical architecture.

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BEFORE Pictured above is the existing exterior facade of the former retail space.

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AFTER Exterior upgrades to the facade included removal of security bars, new storefront windows, new full height storefront entry doors and matching aluminum signage.

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CREDITS Architect of Record, Design + Planning | Centric Design Studio General Contractor | The Monahan Company Periodical Layout + Editing | Damon Thomas Before Photos | Damon Thomas After Photos | John Cumming of Barking Dog Studios

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NEXT In the next issue of Design Transitions, we will take a look at another project by Centric Design Studio: Burns Elementary School Kitchen + Cafeteria Renovation


Design Transitions | Issue 2  

Centric Design Studio welcomes you to another issue of Design Transitions: An online periodical of spaces and/or buildings we have planned a...

Design Transitions | Issue 2  

Centric Design Studio welcomes you to another issue of Design Transitions: An online periodical of spaces and/or buildings we have planned a...

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