AIA of Michigan Awards Airport Park & Pavilion

Local Airport Viewing Park Receives Statewide Architecture Design Award

The American Institute of Architects – Michigan awards Mathison | Mathison Architects (MMA), from Grand Rapids, received the recognition.

MMA received the “Small Budget Award” from the Michigan Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The award, according to AIA, is given “in recognition of design excellence within the constraints of a small budget (under $2 million), scale, and size”. The design award jury commented: “This simple and expressive pavilion provides a serene viewing platform beneath a soaring dynamic form.”

This community-focused project was funded by both the Cascade Community Foundation and the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, and it included the addition of a shelter with restrooms and a gathering plaza, a parking lot that doubled its previous capacity, as well as space for buses.

Evan Mathison stated, “Our whole team drew inspiration from the power of flight to create a unique public place that not only offers shelter and service, but also uses strong forms, details, and custom-designed furniture to invite people to gather and enjoy the experience."

Visiting the viewing park has been a tradition for many in the community. Roy Hawkins, Airport Planning Engineer at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, says: “This park has been a part of generations of people in West Michigan. This project elevates the experiences of the families that visit and showcases the airports unique investment in our community."

This park is located on the south side off the main runway and is one of the most popular parks in Kent County with more than 100 flights going in and out every day.

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About MMA:

Mathison | Mathison Architects is an award-winning full-service architecture and interior design firm based in West Michigan, with a focus on modernism and sustainable design. Founded by Tom and Evan Mathison, the firm has previously been featured on MLive, Contemporist and Dwell Magazine for its projects.


About AIA Michigan:

The state chapter of the American Institute of Architects in Michigan works to advance society through architecture. The chapter has roots which date back to the 1800’s. Learn more about the AIA Michigan.


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