FX Architecture renovating downtown Royal Oak building

Sometimes even the best-laid plans don’t
work out, and yet, sometimes they do. That’s what happened with FX
Architecture and its new office in downtown Royal Oak.

boutique architecture firm run by Frank and Carol Ann Arvan had become
very busy by 2007 and the principals started to make plans to hire a
few people. The couple had worked out of their home office and would
need to set up an independent site to do that.

That led to the purchase of 419 E 4th St, an old dentist office converted by a Wayne State University professor into a private mineral museum in 1984. The economy took a nose dive shortly after they bought it and started work, so FX Architecture
remains a two-person operation, only with a new office. That doesn’t
mean the Arvans aren’t making the most out of the situation.

“It allows us to have client meetings in a more professional setting,” Frank Arvan says.

mid-century modern brick building was originally built in 1954 and
features long, skinny Roman-style bricks that have become a signature
look in some Royal Oak buildings. Frank Arvan describes it as
Mid-Century Moderne, heavy on the clean lines and light on the details.

“We have been looking at renovating this building for a while,” Frank Arvan says. “It’s a big improvement to the neighborhood.”

The Arvans redesigned and upgraded its 900
square feet of interior space. It now sports a clean, minimalist,
moderne architecture. It also has a number of green features, including
lots of insulation, a high-efficiency heating system, and recycled

Source: Frank Arvan, co-principal of FX Architecture
Writer: Jon Zemke