Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
4 East Fulton
Originally built by Davenport Institute (now Davenport University) in 1949, the building was last occupied by Junior Achievement, which relocated in 1998. The building sat vacant for 15 years (before photo at right) in need of repair and utility upgrades; with a failed roof; and single-pane windows in need of replacement. At Grand Rapid’s busiest intersection, the building is located at the heart of art, education, design and commerce.
The design team worked to restore the remaining art deco-inspired envelope details of “4 East Fulton,” while reimagining the interior with simple and elegant details. Floor-level storage keeps a clean aesthetic and allows natural light back into the space. The ceiling, partially open, reveals the historic concrete structure above. Each selected material is celebrated for its natural beauty and texture. The project achieved LEED Platinum ID+C using the following sustainable strategies:
• Reclaimed wood paneling from salvaged shipping crates
• Locally manufactured furniture with 75%+ recycled content
• Countertops made from recycled metal shavings and others that incorporate energy-effi cient LED lighting
• 3D wall panels made with FSC-certifi ed wood
• Low furniture panels and interior glass maximize natural light
• Glass from the original 1949 windows was salvaged, crushed and reused in the kitchen island’s polished concrete counter top.
Ultimately, the design eases everyday operational functions and is conducive to employee creativity. By placing the kitchen near the lobby and conference space, a common gathering area now nurtures the tenant’s casual and professional culture. The second fl oor (7,488 SF) currently houses 30 employees, and contains an area for future hiring growth, as well as client and employee gatherings. Work style fl exibility is promoted through an open-offi ce environment, furniture
systems, and telepresence conferencing systems located in team collaboration areas and conference rooms.
The project brings new life to another historic building in downtown Grand Rapids contributing to the revival of the central city.
Size: 7,488 SF | Completion: September 2013