Congratulations to Mill Steel Company on the opening of
their new headquarters on Lucerne Drive in Grand Rapids.
This 30-year-old brick building exterior was modernized with new paint and metal siding, roof dormers, canopies and railings, decorative light fixtures and new signage. r.o.i. Design could be seen with large finish samples walking around in the snow and rain last year, working with Mill Steel imagining all of the finish changes.
This project began with r.o.i Design managing a programming step, interviewing a variety of people from Mill Steel and creating bubble plans for Dixon Architecture to use in creating the floor plan. The plan included private offices and meeting rooms, but proportionately much more open office, collaborative and shared spaces. There are a café and a breakroom, as well as a patio and fire pit. Staff have plenty of breakout areas for private conversations or just to get away.
Mill Steel wanted the space to be engaging and represent their personalities; they liked clean lines and assured us they weren’t afraid of color. The interior was completely demolished and remodeled – most new walls have glass doors and windows that open up all the rooms to the natural light. r.o.i. Design worked closely with contractors on the lighting and ceiling plans to make sure the space was well lit and energized. The color scheme included their brand blue color but overall was kept neutral, light and bright.
Some of our favorite interior design features include:
Ametal paneled wall in the lobby
A “Live Wall” in the breakroom
Pivot doors from the breakroom to the training room
A custom twenty-one-foot boardroom table
Painted wall graphics
Floors with interesting carpet and luxury vinyl tile patterns throughout the office.
Thank you to Dixon Architecture and Dykhouse Construction
for partnering with us on this great project.
Mill Steel is one of the largest steel service centers in
the nation. They specialize in
flat-rolled carbon steel for various markets including automotive, appliance,
construction, HVAC, and agriculture. Their 32,000 sq. ft. facility is a
two-story building with walkouts on both levels and conveniently located to
For more information on Mill Steel, visit their website.
Can’t find the perfect board room table? Need a storage cabinet that looks like a piece of furniture versus a laminate box? Want a custom-sized sofa? Need to incorporate graphics into custom pieces? We can help.
r.o.i. Design grew out of the furniture industry and we continue
to design custom furniture as part of our interior design services.
Ryan Bright, Creative Executive, has a degree in furniture design and met r.o.i. Design when he was a design intern for Widdicomb Furniture in 1999. Since joining r.o.i. Design he has designed many custom pieces for our customers.
Mary Witte, Owner and Creative Lead, owned a custom millwork company, Designers Workshop, which was purchased by Widdicomb Furniture. There she continued to design custom millwork and furniture and was acknowledged by the industry with an award from American Home for her designs.
Ronda Geyer, Procurement and Product Manager, coordinates our furniture vendors to make sure custom pieces are delivered and installed as designed.
We have maintained relationships with custom furniture makers and finishers that we met through our experience as furniture makers and still use today to fabricate custom pieces.
Some of our recent designs include:
From concept to installation, r.o.i. Design delivers custom furnishings fulfilling our promise to provide Budget, Brand, and Beauty.
Do you love the open office environment, but sometimes struggle
with the need for a quiet spot to get a project done, have a private
conversation, or just have a moment by yourself?
While trends in office space planning are moving towards no
walls and open spaces, the reality is that most people sometimes need an area
which is peaceful and private, where they aren’t interrupted.
The open office isn’t going away
because it has proven to be great for managing by overhearing, training the new
hire, and collaboration. It also helps the growing company be flexible as they
need to add or move employees without calling a contractor and building more
So, how are offices balancing the need to be together but
“apart”? Our annual trip to NeoCon proved that manufactures are paying
attention to their customers’ open office needs. We saw lots of creative ways
to get a moment of isolation, while still being “available”.
This year the drapery curtain showed up in several showrooms, turning the cubicle walls into a framework that allows for a curtain to be drawn for full separation, or just some. Herman Miller created a lounge in their open office using a giant red velvet curtain and globe lights. Groovy!
There were also a lot of “pods”,
little rooms that manufacturers are now offering as part of the line of
furniture. You buy this tiny room and place it within the open office and plug
it in for power and ventilation.
There were canopies, lids and cones
of all shapes and sizes that aim to keep your voice from traveling to the next.
There was one we called “the cone of silence” that you can pull down around a
So, don’t hate the open office, it doesn’t have to make you
frustrated. You just need to get creative with some relief spaces!
Advantage Label says they “label with a purpose”. They work with their customers to create labels and packaging that present a quality product and promote sales. r.o.i. Design’s experience of Advantage Label was just that, they perform with purpose and wanted their office to show them as a place of quality, efficiency and pride.
Wolverine Building Group contacted r.o.i. Design to support their design process and we were asked to review lighting plans, select finishes and lighting, and help make the break room more of a restaurant than a cafeteria.
Using the red of their logo colors (which was also an accent color on the exterior of the building), r.o.i. Design added charcoals, blue gray and orange to the overall scheme to create depth and variety. The use of planked modular carpet tiles allowed accent colors to be introduced within a consistent field of carpet, without added costs.
Wolverine Power Cooperative is a bold company, with big goals and a humble history. While r.o.i. Design enjoyed every aspect of our time with the group, what is lasting for us is their commitment to their customers, their hopes for their employees, and their desire to do the right thing.
Those values translated into a desire to make their new work place a space where collaboration, communication and innovation would thrive. That meant their new offices and employee culture would be making landmark changes in how they work. Their directive was to allow the space to be as transparent and as inclusive as possible, but also provide an inspiring environment for their business.
Rick Skendzel of Architecture Technology in Traverse City, MI, engaged r.o.i. Design to provide interior design services that included interior details, lighting design, light fixture selections, specialty millwork design and finish selections. Our close work with Skendzel, Wolverine’s Dawn Coon, and construction manager, Apex Engineering’s, Steve Steimel, was a dream team. We all were focused on the same goals, compromises were almost effortless.
Highlights of our design contribution include:
Bringing a natural rhythm to ceilings in open areas with planes of wood and color, helping to organize a large space without adding walls.
Highlighting the sense of innovation with a curved entry wall, LED lighting, textural surfaces and recessed niches to display historical elements.
Using a “birds nest” pattern (symbolic of nature) into details at reception, café and board room.
Adding dramatic lighting in café and open areas.
Creating intimate arrangements of furniture to foster collaboration and interdepartmental socializing.
The history of their cooperative is inspiring and you can learn more about that here.
Manufacturing giant Hutchinson Worldwide has one of their anti-vibration plants in Grand Rapids, MI and that location was selected to be the location for their North American Innovation Center, 616 Fab House. The facility includes a 100 year old factory that originally began as Corduroy Rubber. The historical nature of this plant was in part the reason it was selected as an innovation center as it showcases the historical presence of Hutchinson in the US.
Through a competitive process, r.o.i. Design was selected as the design team to plan the innovation center and over a year the plans developed to include 13,400 square feet of a renovated third floor space. In that space there are video conference rooms, executive conference rooms, training rooms, lounge space, exhibit space and hospitality. In addition to the innovation center space, a new entry tower and approach to the 616 Fab House was designed. Working with Architectural Concepts, Ken Watkins, r.o.i. Design provided complete design and construction documents.
r.o.i. Design’s goal in the design was to celebrate the structure, including the vintage wood beams and columns, the original brick and wood floors, in contrast with the clean, new modern additions of glass, steel and technology. LED lighting was added using fixtures that blend with the historical envelope, providing light and drama without adding unneeded decoration.
Steelcase’s MediaScape products were installed in the space, allowing for multi-faceted video conferencing between Hutchinson offices and their global customers.
The modern space was enhanced with reproductions of historic photos that tell the French and American story of Hutchinson and Corduroy Rubber.
r.o.i. Design is grateful for this opportunity and were very impressed with the focus and dedication of the Hutchinson team and look forward to their continued growth and contributions.
From January 20, 2016 mlive article: French auto and aerospace supplier opens North American innovation center… “The 616 Fab House, which formerly served as a storage area, was built in just under eight months with Pinnacle Construction serving as general contractor and R.O.I. Design handling architectural and design services. About 10,000 square feet of unused space on the third will allow for future expansion.”
The 616 Fab House is Hutchinson’s second innovation center, with the other being the 507 Fab House, located in Montargis, France, near Hutchinson’s Paris world headquarters, according to a company news release. That facility was built by the legendary Gustave Eiffel.
The innovation center, 616 Fab House is part of Hutchinson’s 30-acre campus, is dedicated to research, development and innovative thinking for all of Hutchinson’s divisions.
“It is our intent to use the 616 Fab House as a place to connect using our state-of-the-art video and audio conferencing systems to bring customers together with Hutchinson’s global capabilities,” said Hutchinson North America President and CEO Cedric Duclos. “Additionally, we aim to use this space to foster innovative thinking and brainstorming. Using our touch screen technology and a variety of meeting spaces, we provide a setting that inspires creative, problem-solving thinking that drives Hutchinson’s business forward.”