At the Northeast corner of the Campus View community sits an empty retail
building, the old Brian’s Books location. It is a cavernous, 9,250 square foot
building that is not ideal for a retail store or restaurant venture due to the
ebb and flow of a college town. Campus View was searching for a way to
transform the space into residential housing. They asked r.o.i. Design to look
at the building and come up with some ideas.
We landed on new housing approach that intertwines private rooms with
community living. The space was ideal to
handle a 24-unit complex with a central shared area, complete with a communal
kitchen, a lounge with a fireplace and large TV, exercise room, and on-site laundry.
Each of the units has a complete bathroom with tub/shower and a small
kitchenette with a sink, refrigerator, and microwave. The units will be fully
furnished with a full-size bed, desk, wardrobe, dressers, and a loveseat. There
will even be loft storage above the bathroom in each unit. Campus View has
named the property View Point and has already leased several of these suites to
students who are interested in the shared space with privacy concept.
For the redesign of the building, r.o.i. Design wanted to it to feel like a cool, urban, loft-like space. We call it “hipster-eclectic”, encompasses everything that is quirky, creative and bang on trend. Hipsters have wholeheartedly embraced a minimalist aesthetic that effortlessly mismatches several different trends and styles.
The exterior will get new metal siding, giving it a modern industrial look.
The interiors will feature an eclectic mix of surfaces, exposed ductwork and
pipes, and industrial light fixtures. Large factory-type wall stencils will
identify room numbers.
Construction on the building should take place this spring and hopefully be
open for students to move in this fall. Campus View will begin leasing the
space as soon as possible. It will be exciting to see this inventive new living
space take shape and add to the unique housing offerings at GVSU.
For r.o.i. Design, furniture is integral to the design. Quite often we have the opportunity to work with our customers in selecting and designing the furniture and furnishings in their space. This is important to us because it elevates the design to a very personal level, where people are touching, sitting, and experiencing the design in visceral ways.
When we have spent the effort to help a professional service client create a welcoming, branded feel in their interior, sometimes it requires a non-typical office furniture solution.
When we have worked diligently to create a restaurant, lobby, or corporate space that wants to look like a hip restaurant, the furniture may not be able to be compiled from standard options. Thus, we have provided specialty services around furnishings for our customers.
Often, we have been engaged to work with one of many of our local office furniture providers to advocate for our customer, consulting on furniture styles and finishes.
We design custom furniture and work with our customers to find the best resource to create those pieces.
Recently we have been working with fabricators experienced with integrating technology into furniture, creating medical and professional desks.
We have created many custom conference table designs, exploring finishes and details to create an ideal meeting and conference environments.
There is also the need for furnishings that look residential but need to be contract-grade. Providing contract quality guarantees for wear and maintenance.
We have also designed procurement programs for developers, working directly with manufacturers to be able to design, select, purchase, and deliver common area furnishings for multi-family facilities.
Furniture has a functional and aesthetic responsibility in
commercial interiors and planning for appropriate furnishings take intention
The last layer of interior design includes wall art and r.o.i. Design has learned planning for meaningful wall décor has incredible influence on how the space impacts employees, customers, and guests.
It is an opportunity to support a company’s brand, communicate values and goals, as well as add aesthetic interest.
For Wolverine Power Cooperative in Cadillac, Michigan we worked with them to create an assemblage of their customer logos using a cable system to suspend the logos. This brought a sense of pride to staff and board members as they passed by. In the same project, we created a custom wood “service map”, that outlined where they provided power; but the map was interesting as “art” in addition to telling a story. They also asked us to help them create a “word wall” using words that describe how they want to be perceived. We created a graphic and then had it printed on vinyl wallcovering.
For multi-family developer Eagle Point Properties, they like the common areas of their projects to have photos and imagery that represents the location of the residences. For downtown Grand Rapids we found historic photos of landmarks and purchased the rights to print those photos. For their project in Virginia, close to Washington D.C., we featured the architecture and landscapes that describe this region, rich in American history.
Hutchinson North America built 616 FAB House in Grand Rapids in 2016. This space serves as a gathering and meeting space but is surrounded by displays and imagery that demonstrates their tradition of innovation. Working with them and their Paris, France associates, we selected historic images and arranged them throughout the space similar to a museum exhibit. In the same space, were close up details of machinery and operations of the past alongside robotic demonstrations of current technology.
Wall art and décor can be personal, and any effort we made to create custom wall art programs have resulted in positive “returns”.
Campus View Apartments are located directly adjacent to the campus of Grand Valley State University. Campus View had the vision 50 years ago to purchase and develop property near GVSU to provide apartments for students. Today they have more than 400 units and continue to expand to serve the off-campus student housing needs.
r.o.i. Design had the privilege to work with them in 2016 to update their main lobby and leasing offices. This year we were asked to help them refresh the look of the four original apartment buildings. Those original apartment buildings were built in the 1960’s, featuring shag carpet and paneled wood walls. While the apartments have been updated, r.o.i. Design recommended a retro look for the common areas and corridors.
Our design included a mid-century modern use of patterns, colors, and light fixtures. The apartment hallways leave little doubt where the entries are with a bold accent of color at each door.
In addition to the corridors, r.o.i. Design designed building signage for the site that blends with the architecture but again, has a bold retro look.
The reports are that students are loving the upgrades, and Campus View is realizing new leases.
r.o.i. Design continues to work with Campus View in new projects that will open in 2019. From more information on Campus View go to campusviewhousing.com.
r.o.i. Design has a heart for the community, education, and kids. Every year we dedicate some of our time to non-profits whose goals match our own vision as we strive to make a difference in the lives of those we touch.
We have been investing in Living Stones Academy since 2016, when our friend Aaron Winkle, Head of School, reached out for support. Aaron’s request was coupled by the endorsement of Marlin Feyen, founding partner of Feyen Zylstra Electric. He showed us their vision to be radically inclusive and absolutely accessible, which struck a chord with us.
Since our involvement, we have provided design and direction for finishes in their new lunch program kitchen and related corridor, their gymnasium, and the teachers’ lounge. In each case, we took into consideration the 70’s style of the architecture that boasted a modern style and blocks of colors.
The largest of those projects was the gym. We created a design that included acoustic panels so it could be more effective as a presentation space, allowing the audience to hear more clearly. Perhaps the most rewarding was the redesign of the teacher’s lounge. Old fixtures were retired and a new friendly space was delivered that the teachers can use as a retreat from their classrooms.
We look forward to Living Stones continued success as they serve their families, of which 56% receive tuition assistance, 52% are minorities, and 15% are English language learners.
It is never too late to go back to school. r.o.i. Design has been working with Robert Doornbos at RMD Architects, creating interiors for some of the charter schools he has designed in the last year.
Our experience with Charter Schools teaches us that they appear to have highly passionate teams, with high academic goals for a focused community population. They care deeply about how their school environment looks and feels, and based on available budget, really want to make their spaces “A+”
Black River Charter School, Holland, MI
This is where we met RMD Architects. The board engaged us to work alongside him and the board, to assist in the selection and coordination of finishes. This is also a Montessori school which had a criteria that all the finishes be calm, orderly and like home. Our favorite detail in this project was the accenting of the carpet in the classrooms to aid in organizing space for “lining up”, or just calling out areas. There were three color schemes, one for kindergarten, one for lower elementary and one for upper elementary.
Culturally, this school wanted to embrace a global diversity and to make sure the interior could appeal to wide variety of students and families. Our favorite details here was the use of colors that we described as global cuisine, colors that naturally resonated with people as rich and flavorful: Eggplant, Saffron, Palm and Tomato. Then we used those colors in classic patterns in flooring and walls. Those patterns could be traced back to civilization 2000 years ago and could be seen just as decoration, or teaching tools. Through the course of the design we were informed that James Brown went to school in Macon, GA so we wanted to make sure everyone would “feel good”!
This project was a design-build project lead by Triangle Inc. in Grand Rapids, MI.
Northeast Academy, Minneapolis, MN
This community was growing quickly and expanding its program. They were moving into a larger school that needed to be refreshed, remodeled and delivered in less than five months. They moved in August 20, 2016! Our efforts focused on carpet and paint. Northeast wanted all the corridors to be carpeted and because there was little opportunity for other areas of interest, we created three to four modular carpet patterns that we repeated in different color ways. We also created tile patterns for entries and cafeteria. They will be remodeling another floor in the coming year, and hopefully, we will be able to go back and execute some wall accents and graphics as well.