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06.24.2011
Studio Visit> Rossetti
Detroit firm finds inspiration in the city's grit for its international practice.
Detroit Zoo Penguin Puffin concept study.
Courtesy Rossetti

Known for infusing behemoth-sized stadiums with an unexpected creative edge, the Detroit-based firm Rossetti works internationally but has called the Motor City home for 42 years. While this may be an unlikely decision, Principal Matt Rossetti would not have it any other way. “There’s all of a sudden a freshness to the grit of this city,” he said. While that may be new, the city’s reputation as incubator for young design talent is not. The firm has benefited from a plethora of local design education available at Cranbrook, University of Detroit Mercy, Lawrence Tech, and the College for Creative Studies. Working across the globe with satellite offices in LA’s Newport Beach, Denver, and Shanghai, the firm remains committed to design that is about infusing even the biggest of spaces with a nuanced conceptual aesthetic. While their work can at times be intended for an audience of 35,000 (such as a new soccer stadium in Stockholm), the firm never forgets the individual. “The way people move through space is all about being with other people. We build to energize these activities,” explained Rossetti.

Since the common thread to the firm’s work is space planning, sometimes the spaces between the architecture are the ones that shined most. From sports arenas for the masses to conference rooms for a few privileged executives, Rossetti brings high polish to design work born in a city of grit.

Sarah F. Cox


Greektown Casino Hotel

Detroit, MI

   
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In an attempt to infuse this mostly-brick downtown with a new effervescence, the architects created a tower with exterior walls composed of four different blue glasses. Envisioned as a mosaic of clouds and sky, it has been one of the brighter spots to change the city’s skyline in the last five years.


Stockholm Globe Arena

Stockholm, Sweden

 
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Four different venues—for soccer, multiple sports, hockey, and performing arts—will be connected by a public plaza draped with a glass-and-steel canopy that is meant to mimic the look of draped lace. In total the project is 85,000 square feet with the large stadiums shaped as both globes and boxes unified by the roofing.


Detroit Zoo Penguin Puffin Conservatory Concept Study

Detroit, MI

 
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Everyone thinks of penguins on ice year round, but this part of the zoo needs to plan for all four Midwestern seasons. The architects used the bird’s body positions as metaphor for the building shell and created a louvered structure than opens and closes its “wings” as the birds do in the wild to retain heat or cool themselves.


Red Bull Arena Soccer Stadium

Harrison, NJ

The combination of open air over the field and a full coverage canopy over spectator seating makes this the first European-style soccer stadium in the U.S. Shaped to amplify the crowd’s cheers, it’s also acoustically well-suited for concerts and seats 35,000 spectators.