Bowling at the Detroit Athletic Club has been a prominent and active sport for members since the club was founded in 1887. The Abbey, located in the basement of the clubhouse in downtown Detroit, is a dedicated space for private bowling leagues, members and guests. To better integrate the unique history and legacy of the DAC, the club partnered with ROSSETTI to reimagine the Abbey. The result of the transformation is an enhanced member experience at a premier bowling center within a welcoming atmosphere of camaraderie and engaging hospitality.
To provide a more complete member experience, the programming and planning of the space took priority at the beginning of the design process. The architectural expansion allowed for more space to enlarge the locker rooms for both men and women and add a full-service kitchen for improved dining and hospitality. The renovation also included improvements to display bowling trophies and memorabilia and a full-service pro-shop to better serve the bowling members. The new 11,000 square-foot Abbey can be enjoyed by serious bowlers as well as members who desire additional hospitality and socialization opportunities.
The DAC requested the Abbey be reimagined to look like it has been there since the building was designed by Albert Kahn more than a century ago. The ROSSETTI Interiors Studio incorporated Kahn’s Italian Renaissance style into the space by using a rich color palette to resemble history and luxury while the integration of walnut wood paneling coordinates with the rest of the clubhouse aesthetic. When possible, the interior designers incorporated original elements of the historic style, such as recreating a historic frieze as crown molding, using bottle-glass windows in the cabinetry and repurposing original floor tile found during demolition. The procurement of furniture and fixtures is based on flexibility, allowing rearrangement for bowling tournaments or other social events. The result is a space that successfully balances the informal culture of bowling with the formality of this historic and iconic Detroit club.