Cognex Corporation, a Massachusetts-based machine vision company, partnered with Mathison | Mathison Architects (MMA) to design a new branch office in the historic Widdicomb Building in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
While Cognex typically moves away from natural materials for a more “machined” look, the team wanted to take advantage of the existing exposed brick walls and beautiful heavy timber columns and beams, part of the historic structural system first built for furniture manufacturing. The suite had easy access to a common building entrance, lobby, and restrooms, but was awkwardly broken into multiple suites and common spaces. Existing exits, plumbing locations and other utilities had to be accommodated.
MMA combined these spaces into one, reorganizing the circulation entirely, including visitor and staff entries, while still carefully considering where existing value could be retained in door, wall, and plumbing locations. Open offices and glass-walled conference rooms flank the exterior wall, allowing light from the generous windows to penetrate deeper into the space. A break area is centrally located, with the robotics lab and testing room taking interior spaces as natural light is not desired. Conference rooms are outfitted with thoughtful AV capabilities and clear break room access for easy accommodation of the many client training sessions happening here.
Architect of Record: Mathison | Mathison Architects
Builder: Rockford Construction