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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Effigy Studios in Detroit, Michigan by Inform Studio

July 24th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: Inform Studio

inFORM studio is a Woman-owned, WBE certified, design based practice with three offices in Detroit, Michigan, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and New York City. Each office is fully integrated and collaborates with teams set for each project that span all three locations. Formed in March 2000, Van Tine|Guthrie Studio of architecture quickly earned a reputation for the progressive work of the three principals, Michael L. Guthrie, Kenneth R. Van Tine, and Gina Van Tine.


  • Architect: Inform Studio
  • Name of Project: Effigy Studios
  • Location: Detroit, Michigan
  • Client: Private
  • Total Project: 7,000 sq.ft.

Vocal booth

  • Technical design principal: Kenneth Van Tine
  • Marketing, managing principal : Gina Van Tine
  • Design principal: Michael Guthrie
  • Project architect: Philip Plowright
  • Construction Manager: V|G Construction


The firm has received continued peer recognition and community attention for design excellence in acquiring numerous state and local AIA Honor Awards, authoring the winning entry for the Bagley Street Pedestrian Bridge as part of the $120 million Michigan Department of Transportation Ambassador Gateway Project and in June of 2003, was selected as one of eight international finalists out of 1,557 entries to present at the Grand Egyptian Museum Competition Symposium in Cairo, Egypt.

Control room

In 2004 the firm was invited to participate, as one of 30 firms from around the world, in the prestigious Canadian Museum of Human Rights competition and recently received an honorable mention in the world-wide competition for the Museum of Contemporary Art and Planning Exhibition in Shenzhen, China. In late 2010, a 2-phase international competition involving 47 firms from around the world was held to select an iconic pedestrian bridge design for the city of Providence, Rhode Island.


The proposal submitted by inFORM studio was selected as the winning entry and is slated for completion in 2013. In an effort to pursue a higher level of research and immerse our practice in an environmentally sustainable approach to every project, the firm formally changed the name to inFORM studio in early 2007. In March 2011, inFORM studio was selected as AIA Michigan Firm of the Year.

Drum booth

An exceptional collaboration with technical experts in the multifaceted field of acoustics has resulted in one of the nation’s premier live recording studios. The technical complexities of electrical, mechanical and isolation systems were seamlessly integrated into a morphology that is a direct interpretation of how sound operates in an optimal condition. Material investigations into a binary diffusive acoustical panel have become the first implementation of a wall system of this type. The operation of isolated and quiet systems brings an invaluable level of experience to the design team.

Piano corner

The nature of the recording studio is one of isolation, both figuratively and physically. Three major wrappings (Control, Isolation, and Dispersion) have been introduced into the existing structure to address both the isolation and sound quality needs. Two smaller insertions (the vocal isolation booth and the courtyard) create focused moments in the project, pieces that address the quality of the space aside from the technical sound needs.


The architectural interventions do not extend past the edges of found object – they are completely contained by the container. There is little to no indication upon approach to the project of the internal interventions that create the functional spaces. The existing elevation has been maintained but the building effectively turns itself inside out. The event room, the first room entered, is a large multi-function room. It is conceived as a conceptual exterior space.

Toilet Room

The true front elevation and major enterance threshold is approached only after stepping through the initial skin of the existing entrance. The event space is an interstitial space, non-programmed and transitional. From this volume, the core of the studio can be accesed through a significant threshold which occupies the same location as the present masonry wall. Light floods into this space from the erosion of the walls surrounding the courtyard.

Plan 01

Plan 02

Plan 03

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