The Rapidian

Kendall's LEED renovation of Federal Building nearly complete

Kendall College of Art and Design is nearing completion of its Federal Building renovation. Take a peek inside with this photo essay.
Underwriting support from:

The Space Plan and Focus

Basement: ceramics and sculpture studio

Main floor: gallery space, new lobby and a cafe

Second floor: classrooms and auditoriums, art history focused

Third floor: fashion design

Fourth floor: sustainable design

Accesibility: People using wheelchairs will no longer be relegated to the loading dock entrance of the building. The Pearl Street entrance has been redesigned with a ramp into the main lobby.


Room 420 Transom

Room 420 Transom /Roberta F. Kng

As Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University prepares to move into the Federal Building (also known as the former Grand Rapids Art Museum), it has done complete renovation of the space totaling $28.5 million dollars.

The building will contain classrooms, studio space and galleries, and it completes an urban arts corridor for the school. Kendall now has a building on Ionia, Division and Fountain, the new space on Division, Pearl and Lyon and a student residence building on Lyon, Division and Ionia. "We are creating a three-block downtown living, learning environment themed around the arts," said David Eisler, president of Ferris State University

The new building will be LEED certified and restore some of the classic characteristics of the original 1911 building. During the time the art museum was located in the four-story structure, the windows were covered (to protect the art from sunlight) and much of the third and fourth floor were unused and were in disrepair. Kendall will be utilizing all of the space of the building. The basement floor was excavated, deepened and re-poured to make space for a ceramics studio and a room size kiln. "It gives Kendall ceramics capacity it never had before," Eisler said.

Other changes include new windows, skylights and woodwork that has been stripped and returned to its original walnut stain. “We tried to be as true to the original building as we could be,” Eisler said.


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Great job on Federal building complete. I discovered it exciting how they used their window choice and kind.


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