Detroit Institute of Arts, Kresge Court

The New Cultural Living Room: A Classic Is Reborn

In a city graced by numerous cultural gems, none shines brighter than the Detroit Institute of Arts. With its world-renowned collections, the DIA has long been ranked one of the best in the US. Given its stature, it was a privilege for NBS to be selected as a partner in the renovation of the iconic Kresge Court.

It began with a simple idea. Kresge Court could become the DIA’s “cultural living room.” The goal was to create a more inviting and comfortable space that, while respecting its important setting, would become a new destination within the DIA. In a collaborative effort between Patrick Thompson Design, NBS and Steelcase, the Court was reimagined as a community hub where visitors could connect with others, linger, learn and become part of the collective energy created in a vibrant social space.

To meet the goal, modern and classic shapes were mingled to create a refined space, yet one with a casual attitude. A variety of seating configurations appeal to individuals or groups and can accommodate a range of purposes. Tall library tables with stool-height seating support work or study while café and lounge seating encourage conversation or socializing with refreshments. Colorful upholstery adds warmth and a visual pop while complimenting the historic brick architecture. As DIA director Graham Beal sees it, “Kresge Court is undoubtedly one of the glories of the DIA.” Inspired, practical and engaging — Kresge Court is a new classic.

To learn more about the DIA’s world-class exhibits and collections visit them online at DIA.org

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