Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Size: 25,000 sf


Cahoots is a collaborative work environment and incubator space for tech startup companies in Ann Arbor, Michigan, offering all the amenities of a fully operational office in a dynamic and creative open work environment. Companies will work alongside one another, creating a dialogue that will foster innovation: in Cahoots!


With office space in downtown Ann Arbor scarce and at a premium, local tech entrepreneurs and founders of Nutshell purchased three landmark buildings on one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares. In addition to moving their own growing business into the space, they are developing it into a tech hub incubator to attract companies and investors to Ann Arbor.


OX Studio faced the challenge of combining multiple historic properties into one workable tech hub while preserving the landmark facades. The buildings, historic in nature, date back to the early 1900s and are thus marked by decaying structure and infrastructure. Furthermore, having existed as separate entities alongside each other, the individual buildings have mismatched floor levels, prompting an adaptive reuse strategy sensitive to the character of the original spaces. The creative use of ramps and stairs, as well as the introduction of a new elevator, has allowed the continuous flow of space from building to building.


Our team’s extensive experience allowed us to make invaluable assessments of the existing conditions based on the visual evaluation to effectively minimize any potential impact on the historic structures during construction. Advance awareness of potential pitfalls prepared us to address any structural and material concerns in a real-time fashion, which was the absolute key to maintaining costs and schedule. Our overall proximity to the project made regular site visits possible, resolving problems as they arose and providing immediate direction to the contractor through sketches and other documentation which were then incorporated into the construction documents for formalization.



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