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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Detroit Public Schools – Support Services Building ‘A’ in Michigan by inFORM Studio

November 3rd, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: inFORM Studio

The Thorn Apple Valley redevelopment is an analysis into the adaptive reuse of a collection of processing and manufacturing facilities for the future use of office space and distribution for an urban school district. The Support Services Center is an extreme renovation to a 170,000 s.f. structure which, over the life of the building, resulted in eight (8) separate additions with seven (7) varying floor heights throughout the facility.

Ground floor

  • Architects: inFORM Studio
  • Project: Detroit Public Schools – Support Services Building ‘A’
  • Location: Detroit, Michigan
  • Client: Detroit Public Schools
  • Total Project: 170,000 sq.ft.
  • Project Cost: $7.25 million
  • Construction Manager: Huntington Construction
  • Architect Team: Kenneth Van Tine, Gina Van Tine, Michael Guthrie, Cory Lavigne, Philip Plowright, Jeremy Ervin, Andrew Eckert

CDC Interior

The previous amalgamation of processing and office space made navigation through the entire building completely incomprehensible. Through a series of circulation interventions and minimal insertions to define programmed space, a new, clear organization emerges for the consolidation of departments required. Given the banal nature of the Support Services program and an extremely tight budget, a strategy of strip and skin was applied to the exterior, while only necessary programmatic interventions were applied to the interior. There is a harmonious discourse provided between the existing raw space and the new interventions. A similar discourse between renovation and the context around it is equally provocative as the new project becomes a catalyst for the blighted region.

Food service

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. 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. 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.

Food service


Second Floor Plan

New Exterior

New Exterior

New Exterior

Elevation Study

Elevation Study


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Categories: Building, School

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