LOWER TOWN PROPER
CLIENT: PRIVATE
LOCATION: ANN ARBOR, MI
YEAR: EXPECTED 2022
Design in progress for the renovation and addition to the former Stanley Hong’s Mannia Café, an iconic Googie-style local landmark designed by the great Nathan Johnson, into a new performing arts venue, lounge, and restaurant. Built originally as a Chinese food restaurant for the Hong family, the building was used as an occasional hip hop venue known as the Rhythm Kitchen during the early 90s. The renovation and additions seek to celebrate the exuberance and grace of the existing swooping concrete facade. While simpler in form and materiality than the existing architecture, the new additions express a complementary formal geometry, rhythm and tactility. The project aims to restore and reinvigorate Nathan Johnson’s brilliant design with harmonious contemporary additions, breathing new life into this important architectural and cultural icon in the city of Detroit.
TEAM
Elise DeChard, Valeria de Jongh,
Sophie Yan, Tyler Schaafsma

CREDITS
STRUCTURAL: METROPOLITAN STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS & ASSOCIATES

FOOD SERVICE: GREAT LAKES CULINARY DESIGNS

CONTRACTOR: PHOENIX CONTRACTORS

PRESS