Prompted by a desire to perpetuate the positive impact of ongoing downtown redevelopment in Kalamazoo, this project included high-end office space tailored to attract a major anchor tenant to the structure and spur downtown growth.
Combining four floors of office space and a parking ramp with space for 142 cars, the building created a strong focal point on a prominent, high-traffic corner that formerly housed a macadam parking lot. The structure engages surrounding architectural styles, while establishing a strong individual identity, with a striking exterior of clear and translucent glass, limestone, granite, vertical-score brick, architectural metal panels, and stainless steel canopies. These materials were used in a style and proportion similar to the predominant Art Deco-period buildings from the 1920s and 1930s that define downtown Kalamazoo.
The limestone base houses the parking portion of the structure and creates a strong visual anchoring mass that supports the glass, steel, and brick design elements that rise above it. The parking portion of the structure will be shared with an adjacent building, which connects to the structure through an underground tunnel. Keeping the building connectivity and the majority of parking below grade allows for a “design-in-the-round” building that presents an aesthetically pleasing face on all four sides. Material changes and terraced steps to the fifth and sixth floors break up the long elevations and give a feeling of human scale to the massive structure.