Category Archives: Interviews

Houzz Tour: A Fresh Look for a Modern Gem in Michigan


MMA was recently featured on Houzz for their midcentury modern renovation in Kalamazoo, Michigan. See before and after project photos and more information HERE. ## Houzz Tour: A Fresh Look for a Modern Gem in Michigan A new black exterior, a streamlined kitchen and white oak floors bring this 1970s home up to speed When a young professional couple returned to their hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan, to be closer to their parents as they started their own family, they found a 1971 architect-designed home for sale by the original owner. While the home had been well-cared-for, the gray, cedar-clad exterior […]

MLive Article: This super-efficient house cost less than $200 to operate all summer long


Thanks to MLive and Jim Harger for writing and sharing this story about one of our residential projects: Deer Haven Residence. See images and project information HERE. CASCADE TOWNSHIP, MI – Architect Evan Mathison can go on for hours about all of the features he has packed into the sustainable house he designed for his family. Some are esoteric details that only architects will comprehend. Here’s one that everyone who pays the bills can understand: Mathison’s utility bills totaled only $193 in the four months between May and September this year. That includes air conditioning, cooking, laundry and hot water […]

Michigan Architectural Foundation: Build Imagination


This article was sent in the June 2017 Michigan Architectural Foundation (MAF) newsletter. We share it here to celebrate MAF and their Build Imagination book collection for children. “You could say the roots of the Michigan Architectural Foundation go back as far as the fur trade. The Michigan Society of Architects formed the MAF in 1957 to save the Biddle House, a Mackinac Island fur trader’s home dating back to the 18th century. “The organization saw an important artifact that was in dire need of repair,” explains MAF Vice President Tom Mathison. Saving the house became the catalyst, he notes, […]

GRBJ Highlights Architectural Mentor Program


Thanks to Pat Evans and the Grand Rapids Business Journal for featuring our own Tom Mathison and the architectural mentor program he started back in 1999. For 15 years Tom worked to connect students from the accredited architectural universities in Michigan to mentors around the country. Some years he had up to 250 student participants. The program continues today through the AIA Michigan and with its latest program participant the Master of Architecture program at Kendall College. Read the full article HERE.

MLive: This super-efficient home blends mid-century modern architecture


Thanks to MLive and Jim Harger for another great article! EAST GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Architect Evan Mathison and builder Matt Reinsma have combined the best of mid-century modern design and the latest in energy efficiency in the home they created for Todd and Kelli Mulderink. The decor may hearken back to the 1950s, but the methods and materials used to build the five-bedroom house are among latest advancements in sustainable design. Triple-paned windows and doors were imported from Europe and feature sophisticated locks and jambs designed to keep out the cold, heat and moisture. The floors are heated with […]

Katie Karczewski: Maintaining Architectural Integrity in East Grand Rapids


Mention the name Katie Karczewski to any recent home buyer in East Grand Rapids and we bet you’ll be met with a knowing smile. She has been a realtor for 30 years, specializing in residential properties in East Grand Rapids. She sat down with us for an MMA team talk recently and shared her professional history and perspectives on the growth in EGR, the trends, and the importance of architectural integrity. Katie never set out to specialize in one area, but as she stated in our talk, “Your sphere of influence becomes the community where your kids grow up, by […]

Talking about Sustainable Design with Eric Hughes of Image Design


Whether the project is commercial, residential or institutional, there is growing interest and passion about green, sustainable, energy-conscious design strategies.  For MMA, our clients are drawn to projects that are not only modern, but also connected to and responsible for the natural environment and healthy, livable communities.  Our focus on sustainability is shared by fellow-architect and MMA friend Eric Hughes of Image Design, who joined us for an open in-house discussion about the importance of sustainable design and practical applications for achieving energy-efficiency in every project. Sustainability has been a lifelong passion for Eric, particularly for residential design.  Inspired by […]

RapidChat: Megan Feenstra Wall


Thanks to Rapid Growth Media and Jenna Morton for featuring Megan Feenstra Wall and her Michigan Young Architect Award during a “RapidChat” interview.

“Not only was she recently named the Michigan Young Architect of the Year by the American Institute for Architecture (AIA), Megan Feenstra Wall is also a very passionate community member. With her involvement in the Children’s Healing Center, Design Week West Michigan, and KCAD’s Master of Architecture program, she advises novices to “keep taking risks, especially in this time of your life when failure is less likely to affect anyone but yourself.”

Read the full article HERE.

Newberry Expansion News


Thanks to Jim Harger and MLive for sharing a bit about the Newberry Place expansion we’re working on. “Newberry Place, a 9-year-old co-housing community in the Belknap Lookout neighborhood, is expanding. The 20-unit community won permission from the city Planning Commission on Thursday, March 24, to build a three-unit townhouse on a vacant lot located east of the development, which was completed in 2008. The lot at 123 Newberry Street NE became vacant after the community purchased a dilapidated house on the property and had it demolished by the Kent County Land Bank. Marty Morgan, president of the Newberry Place […]

Building or renovating a home is a very personal experience.


Excerpts from our “Ask the Expert” segment with Shelley Irwin on December 17: Q: How closely do you work with the families during a home renovation or new design? A: Building or renovating a home is a very personal experience. We work to discover what’s important to them. We ask a series of questions to fully understand their needs. We want to know what each room is used for and at what time of day. From the answers we develop a few options with various rooms and layouts. We present those options in the form of physical models on a small […]