Unverzagt (M1DTW) Projects Win Two AIA Detroit Awards

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Detroit Chapter recently recognized two projects by M1DTW as part of its annual architectural honor awards program. Christian Unverzagt, an associate professor of practice in architecture at Taubman College, is M1DTW’s design director.

M1DTW’s award-winning projects are Bloomscape HQ and Water Street Coffee Drive-Thru. They were peer reviewed by an AIA San Diego jury and recognized relative to the AIA’s Framework for Design Excellence, representing the defining principles of good design in the 21st century. The projects, along with other 2021 Building Award Winners, were honored at the 2021 AIA Detroit Celebration of Architecture earlier this month. 

Bloomscape HQ won a 2021 AIA Detroit Design Honor Award in the Interior category. The 12,000-square-foot building is located in Detroit’s Core City neighborhood. It provides Bloomscape, an online houseplant retailer, a workspace that complements the company’s values and provides employees with a range of spaces and environments that foster productivity, engagement, and well-being. Bloomscape’s founder is Justin Mast, M.Arch ’12.

The jury stated about Bloomscape HQ: “With its light, airy spaces and a straight-forward, minimalist design approach, the building does a lot with a little and reflects the company’s ethos.”

The Water Street Coffee Drive-Thru earned a 2021 AIA Detroit Design Honor Award in the Small Project category. It previously was recognized by AIA Michigan and the Masonry Institute of Michigan. A 720-square-foot drive-thru café located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a primary goal for the project was to discover a design solution that was compact, materially efficient, and appropriately scaled while maintaining a strong presence for the building as a piece of roadside architecture. The building benefits from the solidity and durability that masonry provides, while also being the medium to express the values of its client: the importance of things made well and with care.

The jury stated about Water Street: “Attention to detail is big on this small project; the clever use of varying brickwork, compelling textures, and curvature heightens the drive-thru experience, elevating an otherwise mundane pitstop to an enjoyable and engaging customer experience.”

A third M1DTW project, Oakridge Dental Center, was recognized this year with an AIA Michigan Design Honor Award, which was presented recently at AIA Michigan’s 32nd Annual Design Retreat (read more).

Based in Detroit, M1DTW Architects is a design-driven multidisciplinary architecture studio that produces thoughtful environments for people to do their best work. See more at