Monday, November 1, 2021

Northpointe Operations Center Wins AIA Grand Rapids’ 2021 People’s Choice Award

Voters selected the Northpointe Bank Operations Center as their favorite project from AIA Grand Rapids’ 2021 Honor Award entry submissions. Ghafari team members were on hand to receive the People’s Choice Award at the AIA Grand Rapids 2021 Honor Awards Celebration on October 28.

Northpointe’s continued growth in their residential lending offerings drove the demand for a new kind of space, now realized in their Operations Center. In the fall of 2019, Ghafari began the process of working with Northpointe’s leadership to conceive a creative, flexible workplace that anticipates the needs of a growing company while also accommodating a variety of groups, departments, and workstyles. Together, Ghafari and Northpointe master-planned a multi-tenant and expansive transformation to the former Cascade Commons building, an aging, nearly vacant 91,000 SF big box and former design showcase center on Grand Rapids’ southeast side.

Prior to putting pen to paper, Ghafari developed a strategic roadmap as a deep understanding of Northpointe’s key business drivers that have a direct impact on the functionality of a workplace and the effectiveness of the people working within. The roadmap offered a holistic understanding of Northpointe’s real estate, people, culture, technology, and wellbeing.

With this in mind, Ghafari designed an immersive interior and exterior user experience that balances diverse workstyles and high-tech meeting spaces with engaging and expansive social spaces. Key to the design’s success is the introduction of vast amounts of natural light, coupled with a design vision that mimics Michigan’s natural beauty and seasonal change. We drew upon the renovation of a massive interior skylight that spans the entire depth of the building – a key feature that is a major element of the building’s past, now a renewed driver and symbol of Northpointe’s future.