Inside SCI-Arc


SCI-Arc Alum and Board Member Michael Poris Recognized by Detroit Home and AIA

Poris' 400 Parent Avenue Lofts building located in Detroit's Warehouse District has received two more notable awards. The adaptive-reuse project was named "Best Loft Building" in the latest edition of Detroit Home magazine, and also received a 2009 Honor Award from the Detroit Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The two new awards follow a 2009 Honor Award from the Michigan Chapter of the AIA.

SCI-Arc alum Michael Poris, AIA, founder of Detroit-based architecture, interiors, and planning firm McIntosh Poris Associates, working with associate John Skok, oversaw the marriage of contemporary upgrades to the building's industrial heritage.

400 Parent Avenue Lofts (Exterior)

A one-time lumber warehouse, the eight units of 400 Parent Avenue today offer residents two-story living replete with exposed ductwork, 21-foot-high ceilings, metal-roof trusses, cement flooring on ground level, tankless water heaters, pyramidal skylights, and open, flexible spaces. By adding the mezzanine level, Poris boosted the building's total usable space from 9,412 to 14,500 square feet.

The original front masonry wall of the half-century old structure had no windows, and only roll-up doors. To bring in light and modify entrances, the entire front wall was removed, then constructed in steel, and clad with sand-colored cement masonry units, punched entry doors, and abundant bay windows. This appealing façade speaks both to the industrial past and present use.

400 Parent Avenue Lofts (Interior)

Loft owners are welcomed into their two-level units with a private entry from a ground-level parking lot. Each loft comprises an attached garage, powder room, elongated hallway leading to custom-designed kitchen with granite or custom-concrete countertops, open living space, and a mezzanine loft space reached by custom-designed metal-and-wood staircases.

Windows were punched in the 21-foot high rear wall to bring in even more light—the units thus have light from north and south, and from skylights, reducing the need for artificial lighting. There are two parking places per unit (one outdoor and one indoor), crushed gravel private patios, and a shared yard.

McIntosh Poris Associates is a full-service architecture, interiors, and urban design firm. Founded in 1994 by Douglas McIntosh and Michael Poris, AIA, the firm's goal is to transform buildings, communities, and urban centers with architecture created through vision and dialogue. The firm has designed numerous single and multi-family residential, mixed-use, commercial, hospitality, institutional, and arts projects in Michigan, California, Connecticut, New York, and Ontario, Canada.

Michael Poris is also a member of SCI-Arc's Board of Directors.