Location: Hudsonville, Michigan
The city of Hudsonville has long lacked a place for residents to regularly gather, connect, and engage with each other. In many communities, a farmer’s market facilitates these activities. Yet despite Hudsonville’s agrarian roots, a permanent farmers market was missing from their city. Since 2000, a small market had been set-up in a parking lot each week–first at a hardware store, then at the farmer’s co-op. But that arrangement just wasn’t providing ample space and time for community interaction.
The idea for a farmers market was our client’s first step for getting the community back together. But in listening to residents, we knew that the place Hudsonville needed would have to be more than a market. The design vision grew to include event space, co-work space, and a new cafe. Terra Square’s location is embraced an anchor at the end of the newly developed Harvey Street Woonerf, and its proximity to Chicago Drive is exploited to be a beacon to regional traffic. Focused investment was made in improving the north and south presence of the building through large glass areas revealing the activity inside. Additionally, a prominent main entrance tower with canopy offers a community “front porch” as a component of the master plan for the surrounding area, and protection for the farmer’s market activities.
For the building itself, connectivity between spaces, as well as to the outdoors, are key. Flexibility in its use became important in shaping the spaces as well. Terra Square was always meant to be a market, but also hosts events, and fosters co-working and social engagement. On top of these advantages, its structural assets were the real surprise. Under the years of clutter were quality construction and materials waiting to be revealed. Recognizing the charm of the existing building were instrumental, paying homage to the building’s history.