Coffee Table Book
Growing up, Kevin Akey always exercised his inherent artistic side by drawing intricate structures. But it was a chance roommate pairing with an architectural student, Frank Zychowski, AIA, at Lawrence Technological University that helped him decide where his talent would be best explored. With Frank’s chosen career path as an influence, Kevin realized he could use his gift in a very dynamic way: as a residential specialist.
The former roommates collaborated in 1990, this time as partners in founding Bloomfield Hills’ AZD Associates, Inc. – Architects. Today the firm has grown to comprise an award-winning team of architects and designers. Each partner balances each other’s strengths dynamically: Kevin is drawn is drawn to the artistic aspects of design while Frank’s expertise falls along the technical and managerial side of the profession. From Florida to California to Canada and even the Bahamas, for more than 17 years AZD has continued to produce livable art. Illustrating this point, the firm recently opened a satellite office in Scottsdale, Arizona, to remain responsive to it’s clients’ regional demands.
Kevin attributes the firm’s success to it’s detail-oriented approach with clients and impeccable reputation for delivering “edgier” designs than it’s more traditional mainstream counterparts. This is not to imply the firm only works in a contemporary vernacular; on the contrary, the styles they explore span Old World to traditional to contemporary and houses ranging from intimate lakeside residences to palatial estates. The team’s innovative designs have evolved to include the use of unique materials such as hammered metals, exotic woods, structural glass and the creative implementation of masonry.
From oddly sized lake lots to unique desires of the homeowner, project diversity presents the sort of challenges the AZD design team welcomes with inventive ideas and creative aggression. Kevin asserts that they design “as much as their clients will allow.” T his creative freedom has led to many award-winning interiors. Most importantly, Kevin believes in bringing outdoor environments inside through the expansive use of glass. No matter the location, nature is the co-designer. However, Kevin remarks that none of these creative elements would work without proper proportion. “Perfect proportion is the key to good design, and the technical expertise that Chad Grinwis and the staff have brought to the team process adds to the equation,” remarks Kevin.
The form addresses 20-25 residential projects a year, yet also designs highly regarded commercial work. AZD Associates’ services include interior design, custom furniture design, site supervision and fabrication of certain fixtures as well as three-dimensional renderings and computer-aided modeling.
AZD Associates’ projects have been featured in many national and local publications, including Better Homes and Gardens, Custom Home and HOUR Detroit, and the firm has also established a presence on HGTV. The firm has been honored with more than 30 design awards, most notably, the Governors Award for Design.