December 13, 2016

Gift Ideas for Architects

Still struggling to find that perfect gift for your favorite architect?

Search no more! Start with this list sent out by "Life as an Architect" writer, Bob Borson.

We agree with most items on this list but had five more fun ideas to add:

1. An architect's version of the adult coloring book; coloring concrete. Get out ALL those shades of grey and color away! Found here. Order early as this item is being shipped from Brussels.

2. For any designer or color lover, these ornaments will surely delight!.

March 28, 2016

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 Condominium Association, said the new townhouse will be built in cooperation with the owners of the three condominiums that will be built in a single townhouse on the lot.

Architect Evan Mathison said two of the three units will be of a "zero-step" design thanks to the sloping lot. One of the units will be accessible from the street level while a second will be accessible from a ramp that leads from the rear of the lot."

March 13, 2016

Innovative Client Shares 5 Most Important Things

We recently had a client email us a list of the five most important things in their residential project:

  1. Energy usage
  2. A modern use of space
  3. Being on the water
  4. Use of light
  5. Interesting interior spaces

They went on to explain the energy patterns within the house; the rooms they go to recharge and the rooms where the most energy is expelled.

We love that our clients are so insightful about their behavior and how they occupy their spaces in such an innovative way.

What would your five most important things be? What energy patterns do you see if your house?

Share your answers in our comments section below. We'd be curious to learn what is important to you and how you view energy.

March 1, 2016

We love The Geek Group!

Recently the MMA team had an opportunity to check out The Geek Group, a local technology collaborative that resides in what was once the Leonard Street YMCA.

Formed as a collection of innovators, hobbyists, and DIYer’s, the space has been transformed into a laboratory for learning and experimentation. The Geek Group offers many machines that we are excited about incorporating into our design process. With a laser cutter ordered and on the way and a multitude of 3d printers already accessible, we see this facility as a great way to illustrate our design ideas to our clients. We look forward to partnering with another great business on the West Side of Grand Rapids on multiple projects to come!

February 9, 2016

A building should compliment its site and landscape.

Excerpts from our "Ask the Expert" segment with Shelley Irwin on December 17:

Q: Do you do landscape design?

A: We don’t choose actual plants but rather focus on the buildings connection to landscape. We are always thinking about the ground plane and how that relates to interior spaces and how the building interacts with the landscape. Once complete it should feel simple and like it was meant to be there.

Q: Let's talk about sustainability.

A: Sustainability is a foundation of our practice. Everything we do has sustainability in mind ranging from energy efficiency to choices about materials and incorporating sustainable systems. We have a strong partner in Green Home Institute who helps with material, research and system options.

December 8, 2015

A New Sign at the Old Homestead

During a holiday trip north to Traverse City where Tom Mathison grew up he noticed a new addition when he made a trip to drive by his childhood home.