Hugh A. Boyd Architects

Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market is a fantasyland of eats: the 132,000-square-foot three-level building offers bread from a wood-fired oven, charcuterie sourced from nearby farms, and other locavore delights. It is also a dream come true from the perspective of urban planning and local business, since its success indicates the community can achieve such goals as supporting local farmers and revitalizing a neglected industrial area at one stroke. During its first year, the market generated 215 new jobs and $5 million in retail sales and spurred conversion of two neighboring warehouses into mixed-use projects with 170 housing units.

Montclair, New Jersey-based architect Hugh Boyd has made a specialty of farmers' markets and indoor market halls. Of his 50 similar projects over 30 years, the $32 million Grand Rapids Downtown Market is the largest and most ambitious. “The diversity of the program is unique, and it was a challenge to get the entire program to work,” he says of the undertaking. Keeping budget in mind, Boyd conceived a warehouse of steel-and-metal decking, with wood accents whose warmth and craftsmanship underscore the artisanal nature of the businesses within.

Located in a somewhat blighted neighborhood south of downtown, the building commands attention with a rooftop greenhouse. Illuminated at night, the volume is visible from US Highway 131, a major link between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, Michigan. In a similar vein, the street-level market hall allows hungry shoppers to glimpse producers like the bakers at Field & Fire Bakery turning out loaves of bread behind a glass wall. The ground floor's interior features a grand stair leading to the greenhouse (which doubles as event space), as well as a banquet room, and a terrace overlooking the city. This upper level also includes a kitchen incubator for new businesses plus a teaching kitchen that accommodates kids, with custom adjustable-height stations powered by hydraulics, while a smaller third floor provides office space for culinary start-ups. A traditional open-air farmers' market is housed in a long shed adjacent to the LEED Gold'certified building.

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market is set up as a community nonprofit that channels any net profits to its own Downtown Market Education Foundation. In just its second year of operation, the venture is doing well enough to finance the foundation. Among various income streams, event rentals have been a surprise hit, with sales reaching nearly $200,000 in 2014. Adding to the momentum, the city has built new sidewalks that allow pedestrians to access the market from downtown. According to Mimi Fritz, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, “We are becoming a destination.”

Hugh A. Boyd Architects
271 Grove Street, Montclair, NJ 07042
Tel: 973-783-2878

Size: 132,000 square feet

Project Cost: $32 million

Completion date: May 2013


Formal name of building:
Grand Rapids Downtown Market

435 Ionia Avenue, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Completion Date:
May 2013

Gross square footage:
132,000 sq. ft.

Total construction cost:
$ 21,648,000

Grand Action

Grand Rapids Downtown Market, Inc.

Hugh A. Boyd Architects
271 Grove Street, Montclair, NJ 07042
Tel: 973-783-2878

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Architect of record:
Progressive A/E

Interior designer:
Hugh A. Boyd Architects & Progressive A/E

Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc. (Civil, Structural, M/E/P)

Consultant(s): The Lighting Practice (Lighting Design)
JRA Food Service Design & Engineering ( Food Service), Rough Brother, Inc. (Greenhouse Design), LiveWall, LLC (Green Roof & Green Wall Design) Kantor Wassink (Graphic Design & Interpretive Signage) Hugh A. Boyd Architects (Signage Design) Market Ventures, Inc. ( Economics & Development Strategy) Catalyst Partners ( LEED Consulting)

Landscape: Progressive A/E

General contractor:
Pioneer Construction (Construction Manager)

M-Buck Studio
Tel: 616-742-5749 (all photos)



Structural system
Main Building: Steel frame w/ metal deck & concrete Farmers’ Market Shed: Steel & reclaimed wood beam frame w/ wood deck

Manufacturer of any structural components unique to this project: Specialty Steel Fabricators (custom steel & aluminum fabrications)

Exterior cladding
Masonry: Belden

Metal Panels: Firestone

Metal/glass curtain wall: Kawneer

Moisture barrier: Dupont

Elastomeric: Carlisle

Metal: Firestone

Other: Clover Architectural Products (air foil trellis)

Glass: Guardian

Insulated-panel or plastic glazing: CPI Daylighting (translucent panels)

Entrances: Kawneer

Sliding doors: NanaWall

Special doors: Eliason (double action doors)

Interior finishes
Acoustical ceilings: Ceilings Plus (wood veneer ceiling panels), USG Interiors, Chicago Metallic (metal ceilings)

Suspension grid: USG Interiors

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Pioneer Construction & Grand Valley Wood Products

Paneling: Pioneer Construction (reclaimed wood paneling and elevator enclosure)

Solid surfacing: Caesarstone

Special surfacing: Stonhard (resinous flooring)

Floor and wall tile: Interceramic (wall tile) Atlas Concorde ( floor tile)

Carpet: Shaw

Office furniture: Steelcase

Reception furniture: Steelcase

Chairs: Steelcase (interior and exterior)

Tables: Steelcase (interior and exterior)

Other furniture (use additional sheet if necessary): Forms & Surfaces ( benches & trash receptacles)

Signage: Universal Sign Company (exterior and interior signage)

Interior ambient lighting: Lightolier, Linear Lighting, Vode Lighting, Peerless Lighting

Downlights: Pathway Lighting, RSA Lighting

Task lighting: Lithonia Lighting, Lucifer Lighting

Exterior: A-Light, Cooper Lighting, LSI Greenlee, Winoma Lighting, Hubbell Lighting, Moda Lighting, Lumenpulse, Lithonia Lighting

Dimming System or other lighting controls: Lutron Electronics, Lumenpulse

Elevators/Escalators: Thyssen Krupp

Energy management or building automation system: Control Logic & Quality Air Inc.

Other unique products that contribute to sustainability:
LiveRoof, LLC (green roofs), LiveWall, LLC (green walls)

Add any additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project:
Water Cooled Refrigerated Display Cases: Southern CaseArts

Geo-thermo Wells: Midwest Geothermal