Project ID
Detroit, USA
New Build

We helped an art collector and curator conceptualize a new space for art and hospitality in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood. The result is the MLXL Arts Compound, which is comprised of the adaptive reuse of an existing brick building from the 19th or early 20th century and a new build on the empty lot next door.

The name "MLXL" refers to the scale of gallery spaces that have been designed to allow a large degree of flexibility in the presentation of artwork. The variety of gallery spaces is reflected in the three-tier elevation as seen from the street.

View from the street
View looking down the street
The gallery entrance is situated inside a courtyard connecting the old and new buildings

The galleries are organized in an 'enfilade' or series of connected rooms without any hallways. At MLXL the enfilade cuts through the building at a diagonal, creating layers views of art in the distance.

The galleries are organized as a diagonal enfilade
UG Gallery
L Gallery
XL Gallery

Openings in the floor plates connect gallery spaces vertically, making room for a media gallery in the basement and a tall exhibition space nearly forty feet tall, despite the compact size of the gallery building.

Section through the galleries
Section through the galleries
M gallery

The adaptive reuse portion of the project imagines a ground floor entertaining space and upstairs artist residences within an old hardware store building. The entrance's original two doors have been restored and lead to slightly different pathways through the floor plan.

Inside are a grid of spaces: bar, music room, lounge, and omakase counter.

Entrance to the Omakase
View to the Homakase
Prepping for dinner
Altar of Noise

The plan shows a dense warren of arts activity. In these plan drawings, the new building is on the bottom and the reimagined existing structure is at the top.