In addition to being Motor City, Detroit, Michigan is Motown, the iconic record label responsible for the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Diana Ross. It is the core of the American automotive industry and the birthplace of Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company.
Building and renovating the city’s commercial infrastructures are the Detroit area’s finest contractors. Ten of those contractors are listed below, based on their awards, affiliations, and background in the industry.
Hamilton Anderson Associates
1435 Randolph St, Suite 200, Detroit, MI 48226
Hamilton Anderson Associates (HAA) is a multidisciplinary design company devoted to advancing the built environment through innovative, contemporary design. Its design process combines thorough analysis, perceptive curiosity, and thoughtful execution to create uplifting, contextually responsive solutions.
Hamilton Anderson was founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1994 when architect Rainy Hamilton, Jr. partnered with planner and landscape architect Kent Anderson. Together, they founded Hamilton Anderson with a focus on unity over uniformity.
A Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), HAA’s diverse design professionals work collaboratively across different fields, including architecture, landscape architecture, planning, urban design, strategic planning, interior design, and graphic design. The firm also served as Architect of Record, furnishing interior design services for the Hamilton Midtown historic renovation project. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 and named after Rainy Hamilton Jr., the founder and owner of Hamilton Anderson Associates in 2016.
McIntosh Poris Associates
155 W. Congress St, Detroit, MI 48226
McIntosh Poris Associates (MPA) is composed of architects and urban planners who believe in the transformative power of design. Founded in 1994, the firm provides architecture and design services to residential, commercial, and institutional clients.
Michael Poris and John Skok, the firm’s principals, lead the company in its goal to become the go-to partner for the people and communities it serves. The firm is devoted to preserving Detroit’s architectural history and accelerating Detroit’s economic resurgence by working with municipal planners and developers to create adaptive re-uses for older buildings. Poris completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan and holds a Master’s in Architecture at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles. Skok has an architecture degree from the University of Detroit Mercy. The firm’s expertise includes adaptive reuse and interior design; notable projects include transforming the former Detroit Fire Department Headquarters into the award-winning Detroit Foundation Hotel and modernizing Country Club Detroit.
MPA is recognized nationally as one of the top voices in architecture and interior design. Its work has gained more than one hundred design awards, including the 2021 AIA Michigan Honor Award and Detroit Design Award.
1500 Woodward Ave, Suite 300, Detroit, MI 48226
Neumann/Smith Architecture, established in 1968, continues to build on its history of quality artistry with a talented group committed to outstanding service and the greatest standards of professional practice. For corporate offices, mixed-use developments, multi-unit housing, parking structures, retail centers, and higher education facilities, the firm specializes in architecture, planning, interior design, historic preservation, and adaptive reuse.
The firm’s Detroit Design Studio, located in the historic Wright-Kay Building, enables its team to better serve current and future local clients in the community while also playing an essential role in the city’s revitalization. Since its establishment, it has earned over two hundred awards, including the prestigious AIA Michigan Architecture Firm Award, 2016 People’s Choice Award from the AIA Detroit Honor Awards, 2014 Interior Design Building Honor Award from AIA Detroit, and numerous features in the international architectural press.
Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects
440 Burroughs St, Suite 525, Detroit, MI 48202
Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects, established in 1994 by Lorcan O’Herlihy, is an award-winning architecture and urban design studio of twenty-five talented designers with offices in Los Angeles and Detroit. Its architecture seeks to elevate the human condition through the built environment, with the conscious understanding that it operates within a layered context of political, developmental, environmental, and social structures.
LOHA has constructed over one hundred projects across three continents, and it has been featured in over twenty countries and honored with over one hundred awards, including the AIACC Distinguished Practice Award, the Architect’s Newspaper’s Best of Practice Best North American Firm Award, the 2021 AIA Los Angeles Gold Medal, and AIA Los Angeles Firm of the Year Award. In 2018, LOHA was named as the #1 Design Firm in the United States by Architect Magazine.
Kraemer Design Group
1420 Broadway St, Detroit, MI 48226
Kraemer Design Group, LLC (KDG) is an award-winning architecture, interior design, and consulting company. It has nearly twenty-five years of experience in adaptive reuse and new construction developments, focusing on the hospitality, multi-family, and commercial markets. To assist its clients, the firm maintains extensive historical consulting and technical resource teams and provides expertise to other architectural firms.
Led by Michigan natives and principals Maureen Kraemer, Robert Kraemer, and Brian Rebain, KDG continues to build its success and reputation where its hearts are—in Detroit. Its work on Shinola Hotel specifically garnered numerous honors in 2020, including a Historic Honorable Mention under the Metamorphosis Award, the Building Award from the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, and the Project of the Year Award from the Construction Association of Michigan.
4219 Woodward Ave, Suite 301, Detroit, MI 48201
Quinn Evans is a full-service architectural firm with headquarters in Washington, Baltimore, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Madison, and Richmond.
Quinn Evans’ experienced professionals are dedicated to eloquence in design and well-crafted alternatives that preserve and restore the built environment. Its comprehensive services include renovation and restoration of existing buildings and sites and the creation of expansions and new structures to satisfy the needs of its clients. In addition to full architectural services, the firm also has a diversified portfolio that integrates context-sensitive and creative designs with sustainable strategies.
With over three decades of experience, QE’s seasoned experts combine a background in renovation architecture with knowledge of the specific issues involved in creating context-sensitive new construction. The firm’s portfolio has been honored with over two hundred awards for exceptional design, outstanding restoration work, and efficient solutions for adapting existing facilities for new uses. Some of these include the 2017 AIA Honor Award for The Henry Ford Glass Gallery and the Associate Award for Ann Phillips.
1948 Division St, Detroit, MI 48207
M1DTW Architects, established in 2000, is a design-driven multidisciplinary architecture studio and creative practice that produces thoughtful environments for people to do their best work. M1DTW engages in a hands-on process that has attracted emerging entrepreneurs across a range of industries.
Founded and led by polymath designer Christian Unverzagt, the studio customizes production at all scales—from the fabrication and construction of buildings and interiors to website design, graphic messaging and book production. Containing over 100 commissioned works, the studio’s wide-ranging portfolio includes retail and commercial spaces, adaptive reuse projects, concept spaces, renovations of historic residences and interior design with custom-made furniture. M1DTW has garnered many awards for its work, including Honor Awards from AIA Michigan, AIA Detroit, Design Core, a NAHA for Best Salon Design in North America, and a 50 Books’ award from the AIGA for one of the best-designed books of the year.
235 E Main St, Suite 102B, Northville, MI 48167
INFORM Studio is a woman-owned architectural and design firm based in Detroit and Chicago. It is a national firm that specializes in creating mixed-use, community, cultural, retail, urban design, and housing projects. The company’s team of architects, interior designers, engineers, urban designers, and computational designers is dedicated to changing how the built environment is designed and delivered to bring about positive change.
INFORM also believes that the most successful design outcomes combine insight with relevant information and data streams. The firm works with a data-driven design process and Gina Van Tine as its principal architect to develop solutions beyond formal expression and into valued performance measurables. The firm has received various recognitions for its efforts, and it has been featured by The Architect’s Newspaper, Design Core, World-Architects, Curbed Detroit, NY Times, and Southfield City Centre.
100 N State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Hobbs+Black Architects is a nationally renowned firm serving a diverse clientele since 1965. As a full-service architecture firm, it offers its clients comprehensive design and construction administration services. From its headquarters in Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Phoenix, its experts provide architectural, design, and related consulting services.
It has fifty-three years of experience creating architecture of transcendent value. William S. Hobbs has led the firm since its founding, overseeing its general operations and performing final reviews for all projects. With registrations in thirty states, he has served as design team leader for various projects, including office, government, and commercial facilities.
150 W. Jefferson Ave, Suite 1300, Detroit, MI 48226
NORR is a fully integrated architecture and engineering company owned by its employees. From headquarters in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates, its team of experts of 700 architects, engineers, planners, and interior designers collaborate across fourteen market sectors. For more than eighty years, the firm has been strengthening its notoriety for inspired design since it was conceived in 1938 by Canadian Architect John B. Parkin. It pursues excellence in the built environment through sustainable oversight, diversity of people, the advancement of technology, and the pursuit of excellence in design.
With William Westhafer and Scott Catallo’s leadership, NORR’s mission is to ensure its clients achieve their business goals while contributing to healthier and sustainable spaces and places across the globe. Its works have been featured multiple times by the CRAIN’s Detroit and PRISM: Sustainability in the Built Environment.