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Ghafari Receives AIA Michigan Honor Award for Design of Northpointe Bank Operations Center

Ghafari Receives AIA Michigan Honor Award for Design of Northpointe Bank Operations Center

Grand Rapids, MI – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Michigan has recognized global architecture and engineering firm Ghafari with an Honor Award for their design of the Northpointe Bank Operations Center, completed in 2021 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. AIA Michigan’s annual awards program honors exemplary projects within the industry. This year, six projects were selected by a panel of judges out of 60+ submissions throughout the state of Michigan to receive the award.

Led by their Grand Rapids office, Ghafari provided full-service architecture and engineering for the project, working alongside Visser Brothers Construction as the contractor, for the renovation and imaginative restoration of the building. Northpointe Bank’s continued growth drove the demand for the new space, and they engaged Ghafari to transform the former Cascade Commons, an aging, nearly vacant 91,000 SF building. The space now serves as an innovative national operations hub for their residential lending and servicing groups.

“A clear concept strengthens this ambitious transformation and showcases the potential that can be realized through revitalization of existing buildings,” the jury noted. “Although this project was submitted under the Interiors category, our jury felt that this project deserved an Honor Award in the Building category. The new design gives reference to the existing post-modern architecture while completely transforming the external and internal experience.”

The Northpointe Operations Center is a flexible and creative transformation of a neglected building. As a dynamic and forward-thinking workplace, this facility elevates Northpointe’s mission “to be the best bank in America by bringing value and innovation to the people and communities they serve while delivering real value through a collaborative, high-performance and diverse company culture”. The space boasts human-focused qualities while simultaneously raising the bar and forging a path for authentic workplace offerings in West Michigan.

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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. Ghafari 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.

Ghafari’s work on the Northpointe Bank Operations Center continues to be recognized for its achievements in design. Other accolades include: The Retrofit Metamorphosis Awards 2021, 2nd Place, Whole Building; The AIA Grand Rapids People’s Choice Award Winner; and The Archdaily Building of the Year 2022 Nominee.

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