Since college, husband-and-wife architects Brad and Theresa Angelini, of Angelini & Associates Architects in Ann Arbor, have been together every step of the way. “We met at Ohio State University, which is a bad thing to say in Ann Arbor,” Brad quips.
Upon graduation, they both headed to the University of Illinois Chicago for graduate school and received master’s degrees in architecture. After working in Chicago and on the East Coast, they each earned another master’s degree in architecture from the University of Notre Dame. The couple later taught at the University of Michigan — he taught an architectural design studio and a graduate-level architectural theory class, while she taught an architectural design studio.
“Teaching is fun, but we really like to make things,” Brad says. He and Theresa have been in business for 35 years and have two grown children.
Their recent work includes a total remodel on the Huron River in Ann Arbor. “It was almost like a home you would see in any subdivision; a one-story with teeny windows that weren’t taking advantage of the river,” Brad says.
The clients suggested placing the main living areas along the water, with private spaces on the other side. “The river bends right near the house, and they have spectacular views,” Brad says. “To make that big of a suggestion to flip the house completely, with all the public spaces along the river, it was magic — and it triggered the ability to put glass along the whole front wall.”
A dark blue exterior reveals a hint of purple, while the deck features a spiral staircase that leads to the canoe launch without blocking the windows or the walkout basement. An adjacent patio has a fire pit, hot tub, and outdoor kitchen. “You can look at the sun setting on the river,” Brad says. “In many ways, it’s like looking at a lake.”
The project began in 2020, and “we really went through the pandemic together,” Theresa says about the unique endeavor. “(In the updated home), the kitchen, dining room, living room, golf simulator, and media room are all along the riverfront.”
“Now,” she says, “it’s really a home that’s about the river.”
DESIGN STARS’ SECRET
A team effort between the client and designer is the best way to pull off a fantastic project, the Angelinis say. “What really contributed to the success of this remodel was working closely with the clients, who were actively involved,” Theresa Angelini says. “They had great communication, and they were really respectful of our professional opinion. It was a collaborative process.” — JM
RIVER LIFE LOWDOWN
The Huron River spans 130 miles, from Oakland County to Ann Arbor and Lake Erie. As a popular destination for seasonal recreation, it has plenty to offer, including kayaking, canoeing, and winter sports like cross-country skiing and ice skating. — JM
Text by Jeanine Matlow & Photography by Jeff Garland