Evan Mathison

March 19, 2019

Airport Pavilion Featured in The Golf Explorer Magazine!

Thanks to “The Golf Explorer” Magazine for featuring the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) and its Viewing Park, which was designed by MMA, in their 2019 edition!  ## The GFIA Viewing Park, owned by the airport and located at 4820 KraftAvenue SE in Grand Rapids, has served as a popular place for local residents, families, visitors, and aviation enthusiasts alike since it first opened in 1995. Initially a park featuring a long, serpentine-shaped parking lot and cul-de-sac with picnic tables where visitors could capture the drama of flight as planes roared down the East-West runway, the site has been transformed and elevated with a simple, yet carefully detailed structure designed by Mathison | Mathison Architects, or MMA, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “This goes back to the primary kind of architecture: it is shelter. It has columns, the building is telling you what it is doing, it is directing rain, and it has this kind of purity as a structure,” said Ben Franceschi, architect at MMA. MMA, a full-service architectural firm grounded in modernism, is a practice striving to deliver projects that embrace its site, enrich its surrounding environment, and provide meaningful authentic experiences. Thomas R. Mathison, FAIA, principal and […]
January 31, 2019

Design Insights: Riverglass House

The family intelligently acquired a piece of property whose natural attributes eclipsed its suburban surroundings. The lot lines create a compressed, modest street presence and then expand in a gesture to the unique pointed setting on the Thornapple River, with a 200 degree water view. The concept of a long, welcoming landscape to a house that re-dramatizes the opening to a river view was foundational for the design process. Thinking about the house as a threshold to the river experience was an organizational tool for the project. A three story central core is a quotation of the outdoors—a large interior void around which all the individual uses of the house are organized. The core welcomes, but also negotiates egress between offset levels on either side. A large semi-public living room with high ceilings and prominent river views couple with the Master suite above to comprise the southern half of the house. Family function is supported to north: an expansive casual living, dining, and kitchen area on the main level, and children’s bedrooms and play area on the second level. At the highest point of the house, the third level provides multi-directional views and is reserved for focused work, reflection, wellness, […]
January 8, 2019

Design Insights: Eastown Veterinary Clinic

Eastown Veterinary Clinic is located in the vibrant business district of Eastown in Grand Rapids. Eight years ago, the owner renovated a vacant former bank building on a tight but prominent site. The community welcomed the veterinarian, and the practice quickly flourished and outgrew the existing space.  In addition to needing more exam rooms and treatment space, the veterinarians felt that separating the dog and cat entrances would provide a more stress-free visit for their small clients. Yet, like many urban lots, the building was bordered by streets on three sides and a shared parking lot in the rear. Utility easements criss-crossed the site, and the trio of streets meant three “front yards”, which have greater setback requirements than a typical side yard. Working with experienced animal care facility designer and engineer Design Learned Inc., the Mathison | Mathison team maximized square footage by proposing a two-story addition meeting all required setbacks and easements.  MMA worked closely and efficiently with the City of Grand Rapids and civil engineers from Comprehensive Engineering  to help secure an amendment to an existing Special Use Permit for the new addition. The veterinarian had previously done a nice renovation to the aging bank building, removing […]
December 5, 2018

MMA Earns the Cover of Grand Rapids Magazine!

Thanks to the Grand Rapids Magazine for featuring both our Deer Haven House and our Romence house in their December 2018 issue. We were excited to see our Deer Haven House on the cover. The issue is available at newsstands around Grand Rapids now! “At first glance, passersby might not assume that two homes — one on a large, secluded plot in the woods of Cascade, the other on a small lot in residential Grand Rapids — have much in common beyond a modern façade. They would be surprised to discover, however, that the homes, while unique in their own ways, share striking similarities once you step through their thresholds.” Read more of an excerpt of the article found online HERE. Read more about Deer Haven House HERE and Romence House HERE
October 25, 2018

Deer Haven House Wins AIA Award

MMA accepts an AIA Grand Rapids residential design award for Deer Haven House.

Each year the AIA recognizes excellence in design from its architectural members. Mathison I Mathison Architects is humbled to accept a residential design award from AIA Grand Rapids for their Deer Haven House project.

October 17, 2018

The Lake Residence: Design Insights

This new family home is located on a beautiful wooded lot that slopes down in two directions to wide, sunset views over the lake.

The family wanted a primary living space on the main or street level that still felt connected to the lake. While decks are a simple solution to adding main-level exterior space on lake-front homes, they often feel like an after-thought, creating a damp shadowy space below, and block daylight to the lower level. This large patio is over lower level living space, so it feels integral to the home and still allows for unhindered light and views at the lower level. The kitchen, sitting, and dining room open directly to the patio with a wide lift-slide door. A gracious stair leads straight to the lakefront below, creating an easy pathway for guests from the entry down and out to the lake.