Project Description


Home of Neumann/Smith’s Detroit Studio, the Wright-Kay Building is an iconic building in Detroit that received a well-deserved restoration. It now has become a focus of attention for the City and a jewel on Woodward Avenue.

The scope of work included complete restoration of the Wright-Kay Building, originally the Schwankovsky Temple of Music, one of the oldest buildings in downtown Detroit, which houses Neumann/Smith’s design studio and offices of our minority partnership practice, Hannah-Neumann/Smith, LLC.

The project called for all new mechanical, electrical, bathrooms and plumbing, new elevators and windows.  The project started out as a full historic preservation project, but mid-way through construction a more relaxed approach to the restrictions on demolition and restoration of gutted floors allowed a more [email protected] “embrace the raw” approach for the tenants.

Neumann/Smith chose to stay with the historic preservation approach on their suite.  We developed the construction documentation for the suite and developed space plans for floors 2, 5 and 6 for potential future tenants.  The third floor was scanned utilizing 3D laser scan technology and the scans were used to develop the detailed preservation scope of the build-out of the floor.

The project included all new base mechanical and electrical systems and suite build-out engineering and documentation.  Bathrooms were designed to “Bedrock” standards as was the lobby.  Facade restoration was also part of the scope.  Retail was developed as a “white box” waiting for a tenant, now known as the John Varvatos store.