More than 10,000 sq. ft of RHEINZINK® material zinc wall panels in two finishes contribute to the “coolness” of the new Metropolitan Park Apartments in downtown Grand Rapids, MI. The 24-unit residential development addresses Michigan’s Cool Cities Initiatives, which are designed to make the state’s urban centers more appealing places for young professionals to live.
“The building’s architecture is truly a creative response and a bold departure from the typical garden-style apartment for workforce housing in the State of Michigan,” said Karl Chew, principal with Brookstone Capital, the project’s developer.
The horizontally banded RHEINZINK reveal panels were finished in a Preweathered Blue Gray and Preweathered Graphite Gray, complementing the dark masonry and metal-framed windows. The project was designed by Joseph Gonzalez, AIA, a principal with Chicago-based DeStefano and Partners Ltd. He explored the use of RHEINZINK material because of its relationship to European designs.
“RHEINZINK is a product normally associated with cool, cutting-edge European projects,” he noted. “I wanted to transfer this aesthetic to a housing not normally thought of as cool. The material was a perfect fit for Michigan’s Cool Cities program and this developing district of Grand Rapids. The two colors that we used provided a striking base to the building design and clearly reinforced our design intent.”
Despite using a material common to European architecture, Metropolitan Park Apartments is a one-of-a-kind design, according to Gonzalez. “The building’s block-like form is contextually unique in three ways,” he said. “It establishes a connection with the history of the district; it is built within the scale of the area; and it introduces new materials which reflect the vitality of the neighborhood.”
The RHEINZINK panels were fabricated and installed by Architectural Glass and Metals Inc. of Bryon Center, MI. The general contractor on the project was Rohde Construction Co. of Kentwood, MI.