Grand Rapids, Michigan20236,000 square feet

Mathison | Mathison Architects Office

MMA Office Hero Shot

Mathison | Mathison Architects Office

Grand Rapids, Michigan20236,000 square feet

For Mathison | Mathison Architects, the use of a strong natural material as an inspirational design element in our own office is a natural extension of our firm’s philosophy of rigorous planning and creative design informed by modern aesthetic and sustainable design principles. Our team explored how natural wood could create a tectonic dialogue within a historic context of a century-old brick and timber former furniture factory.

The concept is a linear, open, and flexible floor plan that allows for future expansion within a tall space with abundant natural light, and which demonstrates MMA’s modern design aesthetic and attention to detail. New interior partitions are faced with clear vertical grain western red cedar with a shiplap profile and horizontal reveal, providing visual warmth and a sophisticated texture within the existing open volume.

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The design introduces the western red cedar at the front entry, and it continues into the space, enclosing two smaller offices and a hidden server room. With large windows beyond, the wood surface is held back and glass encloses the front of the office, allowing natural light to penetrate each individual office space. The lower wood ceilings in each office create an intimate scale, but also serve to conceal a large air handler above. The shiplap reveal continues throughout the space - around corners, and at transitions from wall to ceiling. All glass partitions within the wood surfaces are floor-to-ceiling, and the frosted glass includes voids that align with the shiplap reveals in a playful pattern. Sliding “barn” doors, also clad in western red cedar, feature recessed ceiling slots and concealed tracks.

The new wood surface adds a clean, modern furniture element that is custom fit to the space, resulting in a sculptural composition of natural materials, offering restrained transparency, simplicity, and warmth.


Reagen Taylor

MMA interior
MMA office
MMA office south suite
AIA Grand Rapids

Honor Award, Interior Architecture, 2016

Great Lakes by Design Magazine

"Technical Creativity", 2016