Furniture Design Center

Undergraduate Capstone Thesis - Bowling Green State University


Continuity plays a key role in the city of Grand Rapids where two leading furniture design companies compete in the global market. In order to stay ahead, continuous maintenance is required to keep progressing and developing. This
consistent and unbroken existence is what is needed for cutting edge innovation and development in the technological world.


The project site is located just off of the primary urban core of the city lying adjacent to the Grand River in the knuckle of a bridging highway overpass. Across the river’s span is the university and the museum adjacent to one of the city’s best known parks and plazas. In order to create a connection to both sides of the river, the furniture center juxtaposes the horizontal city grid while respecting the curve of the river and highway. In an attempt to expand the river walk past the highway and back to the city in a gesture of continuity, a ramp system is implemented crossing over the bridge and cantilevering the highway only to return to athletic facilities on a parking structure adjacent to the site.

In order to create an open park, the structure is elevated above the street at the intersection of the ramp and street making it a focal point and the future hub of prototypical furniture design. Visitors then enter and go up into the building to watch where furniture is made and exhibited, bringing the city of Grand Rapids back to furniture design as the new heart of the city plan and urban hub.

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