Restoration and Expansion 619 Wealthy SE
Design Awards / Restoration and Expansion 619 Wealthy SE
Osgood Award for Unbuilt Project: 2017
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
The initial conversations with the client began in the spring of 2014. The project was the renovation and expansion of a small single story commercial building in an historic district of Grand Rapids. It involved rehabbing the existing 5 storefronts which had fallen into ruinous condition and to expand the building with a sixth storefront and two apartments on the upper level. The problem is that the Secretary of the Interior Standards for rehabilitation generally do not allow a second story addition on a single story building. The City Historic Preservation Department was not optimistic about the chances of the project being approved by the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). In an effort to make the upper floor addition as unobtrusive as possible, we set it down into the roof structure of the building and maintained low roof lines on the addition. We did sight line studies to illustrate the concept to the HPC. Over a period of 3 months we met on separate occasions with the HPC and on April 2, 2015 the HPC granted a certificate of appropriateness to the project allowing the Owner to pursue construction. The solution utilized similar materials to the existing building and borrowed some of the details of the existing building to create a two story addition at the north side of the existing building. A glass curtainwall separates the old and new construction. The second floor entry is on a small courtyard space partway back from the street. The apartment addition is very understated and set back from the edge of the building to minimize its visibility. Rooftop patios and a green roof completed the project. Bids were taken in the fall of 2015 but the Owner was unable to award a contract for construction.