The airport viewing park lies opposite the main runways from the main terminal building on open, exposed land, with broad views of the horizon, the runways, and the main terminal – perfect for viewing landings and take-offs.
Despite limited capacity (57 cars) and amenities (a lone portable toilet, deteriorating picnic tables, inadequate trash receptacles, and no shade), it is one of the most popular park destinations in the county. Demand for additional parking, permanent toilet facilities, upgraded picnic sites, and common sheltered area formed the functional core of this project. Creating a renewed public place that welcomes, inspires, informs, and engages formed the aspirational core.
The double canopy roof forms invoke the feeling of ascending in an airplane. The roof lines imagine the trajectory of flight with a simple structure that accents the powerful horizon, the site topography, and open sky above. The wood-clad sloping roof planes create a sense of openness, enclosure, warmth and human-scale.
The renewed park doubles the parking capacity, including space for busses and food trucks. Permanent toilets and shelter structures share a central location on the expanded site. All features are barrier-free, including new picnic tables, benches, and trash receptacles – custom designed and locally fabricated for this project.
Constructor: Owen Ames Kimball
Photography: Jason Keen Photography
Grand Rapids Business Journal, 2017
West Michigan Design Week Tour, 2017
AIA Michigan Honor Award, 2018
archilovers Featured Project, 2018
Airport World Magazine, 2018
Great Lakes by Design Magazine, 2018
The Golf Explorer Magazine, 2019
AIA Grand Rapids Small Commercial Building Honor Award, 2019