r.o.i. Design has a 25-year relationship with Wolverine Building Group, and we are grateful for the work they give us in the industrial and retail builds.
When Aaron Jonker and Curt Mulder purchased the company and became the new presidents and co-owners of Wolverine, they looked to redesign their office spaces. While Wolverine does have designers on staff, they wanted outside help with their first-floor main conference room which is highly visible and used frequently.
Our design included updating the lighting and finishes. The back accent wall of the room is clad in large monolithic ceramic tiles with a metallic finish. The carpet tiles create a unique gradient pattern along the length of the room. Wolverine replaced their old conference table with a new custom table using an ash burl top and a base of reclaimed steel girders designed by Robert Mulder. r.o.i. Design also provided custom glass white boards.
The room was transformed and will stand the test of time for the next generation of leadership at Wolverine Building Group.
Mars Hill and r.o.i. Design have a 15-year relationship and we have worked on a variety of remodels as their building needs have changed.
In 2019, Mars Hill sold half of their building’s footprint to Grandville Public Schools, who were looking for space for their Early Education and After School Programs.
r.o.i. Design engaged Dwayne Masselink and Matt Shoffner of InterActive Studio, who have also previously worked with Mars Hill, to partner on the design and architecture of the remodel. r.o.i. Design led the design team and supported Mars Hill in the process. Mars Hill interviewed four contractors and decided on Erhardt Construction to complete the remodel.
Because of the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mars Hill project morphed many times. Budgets also impacted the phasing and scope of the work. Essentially, the scope of the project had to be divided into two phases.
The Phase 1 remodel included remodeling a mezzanine space for the church’s new offices, reconfiguring the middle school classrooms for preschool, reconfiguring preschool spaces for babies (nursery), and creating a complete separation from the Grandville Public School side of the building.
The old offices were separated by a mall corridor and the updated design has all staff in the same space for the first time in many years. While there was not enough room to give everyone private offices, they agreed to all have cubicle offices with private hotel offices being available for project-based needs and studies.
The mezzanine office remodel included new windows and views to the outside. They also created a large outdoor deck right off the lounge and break room area. The office includes a fireplace, several meeting spaces, a kitchen breakroom, and new restrooms.
Details that we really appreciate in the new mezzanine office include the reuse of the cedar siding reclaimed from the first floor demolition, the fireplace, the lighting plan and light fixtures, the curved wall and benches outside of the reception area, and the thoughtful furnishings provided by West Michigan Office Interiors.
Phase 1 also included adapting the buidling’s exterior to create a more appealing entrance for office staff and visitors. Phase 2 will include remodeling the elementary and preschool classrooms and the hallway areas.
A huge shout-out to Ken Sanders at Mars Hill for his care and patience during the project and to Erhardt Construction for their flexibility.
Most of the new buildings that r.o.i. Design has designed have fire suppression systems installed. It was not until First Companies introduced us to the Goossens at Total Fire Protection that we understood how technical and innovative fire suppression is!
Working with Dixon Architecture, we worked through space planning and lighting design for Total Fire Protection’s new office. The ceiling plan offered some opportunities for creativity in lighting and sound. The floor plan gave this group a lot more opportunities for shared and collaborative spaces that they were missing in their old office.
The interior finishes are straightforward and clean, with the carpet patterns offering a lot of interest. This is especially true in the large conference room where we incorporated hexagon carpet tiles. Other features we like include the lobby lighting, the open staircase, the interior brick walls, the second-floor break room/bar, the use of staggered 2×4 ceiling tiles, and the executive patio tile treatment.
Congratulations to Total Fire Protection on your new offices and thank you to First Companies for the opportunity.
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.
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.