Long-time friends and business professionals Hillary and Doug Taatjes of NAI Wisinski of West Michigan contacted r.o.i. Design regarding the building lobby of their corporate office. It’s located at 100 Grandville Ave. in downtown Grand Rapids.
In 2018, we carried out the first phase of this conversion by painting wood panels, changing out light fixtures, and lightening up the space overall. We have helped several of NAI’s clients with lobby upgrades in order to attract new tenants and keep current ones happy by adding new furnishings. The Taatjes’ saw the opportunity to update 100 Grandville with similar goals in mind.
Our clients sought to make the existing lobby feel less like a mechanical room. The existing series of panels in the lobby that monitored the elevator, as well as other electrical panels, needed to remain accessible. We presented options for covering the panels and made recommendations for furnishings to complete the upgrade.
The final product resulted in hanging dimensional panels that could be manipulated with window covering hardware to allow the wall to open up. With the addition of a rug, bar table with stools, and foliage accents – voila! – no more mechanical room.
Our long-time friend at BluHouse Properties, Duke Gray, introduced us to Ryan Bassett, President and Wealth Advisor for Evolution Wealth Strategies, who sought to upgrade his newly leased space.
Ryan asked r.o.i. Design to assist in designing the space so that it represented the Evolution Wealth brand and gave customers an experience that delighted them. This redesign included removing walls to achieve a sense of openness while maintaining privacy where necessary.
Inspired by the fresh feel of the company’s logo, we created a setting that includes a neutral color palette with wood features and touches of the corporate colors. Eliminating the dated oak trim throughout the space brought the office into this decade in look and feel.
r.o.i. Design assisted Ryan in selecting furnishings and accessories. Thanks to Design Lead Marianne Martz, the project was managed to the end in spite of the challenges presented by COVID-19.
Four years ago, First Companies introduced us to Dr. Ryan Freeland as he was planning his practice, Wolverine Dermatology. It was clear from the start that he intended to grow his practice by bringing aboard new doctors and offering a greater range of services.
Anticipating this expansion of services, an unfinished portion of the building was built-out to create four additional exam rooms, a doctor’s office, and a med-team open office. Maintaining the finishes from our original design, we planned and documented finishes for the expanded space.
We also provided the custom Med Team Desk, a “landing pad” for information that includes electrical and data accessories, allowing the busy open office area to operate efficiently.
And of course, like before, the Maize and Blue were honored throughout.
At this moment, r.o.i. Design has many projects that are in process. Here are two we would like to share with our fans. These are good examples of our diverse talents and experience.
Darley Village is an active senior complex with new apartments being built in Muskegon, Michigan. Our main contact, Denis Johnson of JNA Group, has been a longtime associate of r.o.i. Design. We have collaborated on both hospitality and public space designs. Denis is a partner in, and the project lead for, this development.
This project pushes the finishes beyond the competitive offering and hints at a level of sophistication and “fun”, making it attractive to the discerning tenant.
Midwest Miniatures Museum
Midwest Miniatures Museum has made a bold move to purchase the historical Robbins House in Grand Haven, moving from their previous location in Hickory Corners, Michigan. r.o.i. Design has been engaged in the exhibit and related environmental design.
The project is a perfect fit between content and venue, and we are so excited to be on this team. Thank you to our friend and museum consultant, Timothy Chester, who referred us to the Midwest Miniatures Museum.
The Robbins House was built in 1899. Except for a brief time as a law office, the structure has been in continuous use as a private residence. This unique home is on the National Register of Historic Places and those familiar with the building are excited to see its new life as a museum. This conversion from home to the museum will take place in three phases; initially, the museum will re-open with first floor exhibits and a gift shop.
This time of year, r.o.i. Design would normally be bringing you news from our annual trip to NeoCon in Chicago. Because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, NeoCon had to be canceled. The yearly commercial design show held at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago is our chance to get out to see, touch, and experience the latest and greatest products from manufacturers of office furniture, flooring, fabrics, and wallcoverings.
Understanding that the design community would be deeply disappointed, the organizers and exhibitors of NeoCon put together a virtual exhibit this year, called “NeoConnect”. This series of online resources, programming, and events normally at NeoCon, aims to virtually connect the design community through the Fall of 2020. This allows those who would normally attend NeoCon to get information about the new product offerings, attend virtual educational seminars, and connect with others in the NeoCon community.
The developers of this site have done a good job to make looking up exhibitors and their products easy. Users can search by company, keyword, or category, or you can browse a list of exhibitors sorted alphabetically. Additionally, floor plans of the Merchandise Mart with exhibitors’ showroom locations are available to explore. Each showroom has its own link to additional company and product info.
One of the biggest design trends coming out of NeoCon this year is obviously making spaces safe. With the threat of this virus and whatever else may come, feeling safe in the workplace is a number one priority. What may have been popular before for space planning, fabrics, and finish options may now be deemed unsafe in the age of COVID-19. Open offices or benching configurations are now impractical without allowing for six feet of distance between people. Screens and plexiglass barriers will now figure prominently in space planning. Upholstery, wallcoverings, and worksurfaces now need to be able to be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.
Other industry trends identified at NeoCon this year include designing with a system mindset, creating spaces of inclusivity and gender-neutral design, investments in sustainable products, and preparation and risk assessment.
We are all hoping the world is in a better place a year from now, and we look forward to attending NeoCon in person again in 2021.
In Michigan, construction projects received the go-ahead start up again on May 6. r.o.i. Design had several jobs that we’re able to resume, most of which are working toward maintaining original deadlines with some schedule challenges. Here’s a summary of some of our construction jobs in progress.
Mars Hill Bible Church
We are partnered with InterActive Studio and Erhardt Construction in Phase 1 remodel of Mars Hill Bible Church’s offices and children’s ministry spaces. Mars Hill sold half of its building to Grandville Public Schools. Though the church isn’t sure when they can assemble for worship, they are optimistic that staff can return to new offices in August 2020. We are grateful for the diligence and flexibility of Erhardt Construction who has had to manage a remote design team and customer while keeping the job site safe and productive.
We are partnered with Pinnacle Construction in the office remodel for Pennell CPA. For this project, we opened up much of the enclosed space to create a more flexible workplace for this growing accounting firm. We are managing the design, with the help of TJA Architects. The goal is for the office to be move-in ready at the end of June. Like many companies, Pennell CPA has had many staff working from home, and they look forward to being able to gather in a larger space that will comply with current requirements for social distancing. Kudos to Pinnacle for keeping this project on track, where, at this writing, finishes are being applied and cabinets installed.
Total Fire Protection
We are partnered with First Companies and Dixon Architecture in the design of Total Fire Protection’s new facility. The new construction includes a large manufacturing and distribution warehouse and a two-story corporate and sales office. Total Fire Protection builds fire protection sprinkling systems, hazard specialty services, and system monitoring. They have outgrown their space on Kendrick Drive and are looking forward to a July move-in. In addition to their space, the building has tenant space making the overall build-out a huge footprint. First Companies are reporting that finishes are being installed, decorative lighting is showing up, and the cabinetry is being installed.
Grand River Bank
We are partnered with Dixon Architecture and BDR Construction on a new construction project at 50 Crahen Avenue in Ada, Michigan. Grand River Bank is the first-floor tenant of this building, which is their second location in West Michigan. This office will duplicate most of the services that they offer in their Grandville branch. The goal is for the bank to be operational this fall while being strategic and methodical about how to keep employees and customers safe. The COVID-19 pandemic and consequential social distancing requirements created a need for a little redesign, which is being addressed now and shouldn’t postpone their entry into the marketplace.
The r.o.i. Design team connected with Ryan Bassett from Evolution Wealth through our mutual friend, BluHouse Realtor Duke Gray. Due to the growth of Ryan’s financial consulting business, he was seeking a space that could reflect his brand and values, while accommodating more new customers. Working with the landlord’s team of remodelers, we helped him imagine a new layout and select finishes. The goal is for Evolution Wealth to occupy its new space in July.