Collection by Aaron Britt

Michigan: Day One


As I noted last week via the blog and Twitter, and my colleague Amanda so aptly showed in this slideshow, I was in Michigan last week. It was my first trip to the state and I had a hell of a time. Though about half of my time was spent in and around Holland shooting part three of our Full Spectrum series of videos at Herman Miller, I did head northeast of there for some time in Midland. I went to Midland to see the work of native son, architect, and scion of the Dow Chemical family Alden B. Dow. He did over a hundred buildings in a town of about 40,000 from the 1930s to the 1970s, and never had I seen a town whose aesthetic and feel owed such a debt to just one architect. I got a great tour of the Alden B. Dow home and studio (go if you can!) as well as a tour of town from the home and studio's director Craig McDonald. Have a look at this slideshow to see what I did.

The best view by far of the Alden B. Dow home and studio is from a little rise on the other side of the man made pond.
This is the drafting room in the Dow studio.
Made of left over cinder from Dow Chemical's coal-burning furnaces, the unit block became an important material in...
A nice pic of old Alden himself.
I love this graphic representation of how Dow's initials became his logo.
Dow belived that kids should be encouraged to play as much as possible.
Here's another view of the downstairs playroom.
As you enter the home and studio you are led down a small flight of stairs to the Submarine room, which is just about...
Here you can see just how close you are to the pond once you open a window.
Here's a model of a house that Dow designed for some clients who never ended up building it. One of his daughters later...
A very playful man, Dow designed a number of puzzles. this one can be constructed four ways.
Alden Dow did this mural for the Midland farmer's market, but apparently they didn't like it. He moved it back home and...
The grandeur of the main living room is hard to capture in a single photo.
I couldn't resist snapping a photo of the inside of one of Dow's clothing drawers.
There is a lovely interior courtyard that snakes out back.
Dow loved red accents, and they repeat all over the house. I like these on the exterior very much.
This bridge at the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio goes from the terrace of the Dow home over the pond and out toward the...
This screened-in porch is on the second level of the house and overlooks the big pond.
The Dow children climbed all over this house, and it's gently pitched roofs make it a veritable playground.