Campus View, a major player in student housing in Allendale, MI, wanted to create a different housing option for the student who wants a private personal space but still needs to be connected to a community. They own the building formerly housing “Brian’s Books” near Pierce Road and 48th Street just south of the Grand Valley State University Campus. They decided to turn this 20-year-old retail space into View Point, with 24 small studio apartments, an open lounge area, a common kitchen, an exercise room, and a laundry room.
They called in TJA Architects and r.o.i. Design to help them conceive and execute a plan to create View Point. We developed a hipster design criterion, while still providing top-notch amenities.
Keeping the basic architecture of the building, we had to conceive an exterior finish that would separate it from its former retail storefront look. One of the main front gables was minimized and the face of the building was sided in three different colors of metal panel to create random vertical stripes. We highlighted the entrances with a dramatic asymmetrical face of dark siding contrasted with warm wood planking around the entry doors.
These design criteria resulted in some fun details in the interior common areas:
- Oversized, 24-inch tall apartment numbers stenciled on the walls
- Funky wicker woven corridor light fixtures
- Planked and octagonal modular carpet patterns in random patterns
- Custom canvas art using iconic Grand Valley State University names and places
- Found and repurposed items for decor
View Point offers its residents a well-appointed one-room apartment with a full bathroom. Each unit includes a small kitchenette area with solid surface countertops, study area, sitting area with a wall-mounted TV, and a bed with trundle storage. Just outside each unit is a lounge area with seating, a huge TV, and a spacious common kitchen with an 18-foot island and personal storage for each resident.