HKS Detroit Office Relocates


DETROIT, May 1, 2009 – HKS Architects, P.C. relocated its office to the historic Water Wheel Centre building in downtown Northville, 30 miles northwest of Downtown Detroit.  Previously located in Farmington Hills, the move allows the firm to increase its work space from 9,000 square feet to more than 14,000 square feet.

“Part of the attraction of the Water Wheel Centre is its rich, historic past,” says Steve Jacobson, AIA, director of the HKS Detroit office. 

Formerly the Historic Ford Valve Plant, the building is a significant landmark in downtown Northville.  The art deco, Albert Kahn-designed facility was built in the late 1930s for Henry Ford, Sr. to manufacture tractor valves and components for the Model T.  The antiquated plant was purchased by Mr. R.D. Cox and converted into office space for a variety of design firms.

Today, the renovated building features expansive glass windows allowing daylighting and views to the river and park as well as a fully operational, decorative 19-foot-high by 7-foot-wide water wheel.  The Water Wheel Centre downtown setting offers tenants diverse shops, boutiques, galleries, theaters, restaurants, businesses and professional offices.

According to Jacobson, the firm will achieve Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Commercial Interiors (CI) certification for the office.  “HKS is committed to sustainable design and being stewards of the environment.  Our new office’s design incorporates many of the nation’s leading green design concepts including using paints, adhesives, stains and finishes that are free of, or very low in, volatile organic compounds; using Energy Star-qualified equipment and appliances; purchasing materials with a high percentage of recycled content; and implementing fixtures that reduce excess water use.”

“The new office location is a meaningful and inspiring place that reflects our commitment to our people, our communities, to sustainable design and to our rich regional heritage,” said Carol Kartje, vice president and director of interior design for HKS Detroit.

The Detroit office provides a broad range of professional services to clients throughout the Midwest region of the United States including programming, master planning, space planning, interior design, architectural design, construction documents and construction administration. 

The practice is well known in Michigan for its award-winning healthcare designs including the 172,000-square-foot Saint Mary’s Health Care Lacks Cancer Center in Grand Rapids, Mich.  The project is the second hospital in the nation to LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.  Additional clients include Saint Joseph Mercy Health System in Ann Arbor, Mich.; St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, Mich.; St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia, Mich.; Mercy General Health Partners in Muskegon, Mich.; Boone Hospital Center in Columbia, Mo.; Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, Calif.; and Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho.

Formerly Trinity Design, the firm merged with Dallas-based architectural firm HKS in October 2006 to establish the HKS Detroit office. Since the merger, the office has expanded from $500 million to more than $1 billion in construction.

HKS, Inc. is a leading architectural design firm ranked among the top-three architectural/engineering firms, according to Building Design & Construction magazine. Since its founding in 1939, HKS has completed construction projects totaling more than $45 billion in more than 982 cities located in 46 states, the District of Columbia and 59 foreign countries.  The firm has 25 U.S. and worldwide offices including Detroit, Mich.


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