Project Activity Posts

Bridge Street Gateway Development Completed

Posted by: FTCH | Sep, 23rd

Project: Bridge Street Gateway Development

FTCH completed the conceptual design for a new, mixed-use two-building development as part of the revitalization of the Grand Rapids’ West Side. Half of the development will house a new brewery, a distillery tasting room, and a restaurant. The other of the two buildings in the complex will be five stories and will contain retail space and about 35 apartments.


The Gateway Development will include:

· Parking

· 1st floor retail

· Apartments

· Offices

The New Holland Brewing Company project will include:

· Exterior beer garden

· Retail store

· Restaurant

· Whiskey bar

· Kitchen

· Distilling/brewing process facility


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General Dynamics Land Systems Finished

Posted by: FTCH | Sep, 23rd

Project: General Dynamics Land Systems

General Dynamics invited FTCH to design a new collaboration facility for their Land Systems Division in fall 2009. The campus includes the main office and research and development facility. At 13,000 sf, this facility represents a small fraction of the total building area it was designed within, which was several hundred thousand square feet. However, the significance of this facility to the futures of General Dynamics, Southeast Michigan, and the United States is much greater than the project size would suggest. This importance stems from what happens inside this facility.


This new facility serves two primary purposes. First, it is the front door for visitors to General Dynamic’s facilities in Michigan. Second, this facility is the nexus for new ideas between their design team members and those outside the firm. It is a creative collaboration center providing space to formulate ideas, develop collaborative design concepts, and ultimately, construct and test design.


The design and construction of this facility embodies the notion of collaborative creativity. This project’s role is well beyond the notion of providing adequate space for the activities that will take place in it. This facility was truly meant to bring out creative thinking, in particular, hightech thinking. In addition, the facility provides extensive flexibility that will promote free thinking and allow for rapid changes in thinking, developing, and testing. General Dynamics Land Systems decided to proceed with an additional phase for the MC2 facility. FTCH was exclusively asked to design the new phase.




2011 Honor Award, Building Award Category - American Institute of Architects/Grand Valley Chapter

2011 Design Competition Corporate Space Category First Place Winner - American Society of Interior Designers/Michigan Chapter



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Michigan Technological University Finished

Posted by: FTCH | Sep, 23rd

Project: Michigan Technological University

MTU envisioned a new campus facility to house aquatic research laboratories and classrooms, and support researchers and students working with Great Lakes biological, chemical, and physical studies. The facility would be designed and equipped in support of instruction, experimental laboratories, and outreach efforts. Students using this facility would learn in an environment providing state-of-the-art technologies and laboratories.

FTCH provided A/E design services throughout the entire project, from initial programming validation to construction administration. FTCH interviewed MTU researchers and staff to validate and update a preliminary program that had been previously developed.  A schematic design was developed, resulting in a 55,000-sf, 4story building that includes 11,500 sf of laboratory space and a docking and marina area for the University’s research vessels. The building is located on a compact site on the lower elevations of campus, on the shore of Portage Lake, immediately adjacent to the waters of the Keweenaw Waterway.

FTCH also developed the programming statement and  schematic design package for funding submittal through the State of Michigan Capital Outlay program. Consultants to FTCH in the project design, included Research Facilities Design of San Diego, California (laboratory design) and M. C. Smith and Associates of Grand Rapids, Michigan (site and landscaping design).

The mechanical design for the facility utilizes a unique system which draws hot water from a heat exchanger/economizer placed in a boiler stack of the nearby campus central heating plant. This heat, which would otherwise be wasted in the boiler stack, is utilized for the majority of heating equipment in the building. Boilers provide higher temperature water for radiant floor heating in selected areas.

The design included the addition of a University data center to the project. The data center houses servers that provide system redundancy to the University, as well as high powered research computing for the facility,  in a configuration permitting future upgrades to a Tier 3 design.


2013 Pyramid Award/Best Project Team -  Washtenaw Contractors Association

2013 Engineering Excellence Merit Award - American Council of Engineering Companies/MI

2013 Architectural Portfolio Outstanding Design/Post-Secondary - American School & University

2012 Design Award of Merit Institutional Category - Association of Licensed Architects

2010 Honor Award/Unbuilt Category - American Institute of Architects/Grand Valley Chapter

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