Built in 1937, Knapp's Centre in downtwon Lansing, Michigan, was home to the JW Knapp Company department store. The 190,000 square-foot building evolved over the years to be the home of several office, retail spaces, restaurants, design studios, and art galleries. In the early 2000s, the building was developing into residential properties. It was then that the owner, The Eyde Company, decided that the building was in need of updating.
The architect retained for the job, Quinn Evans Architects, was founded in 1984. Over the years they have grown to six offices nationwide. Their core value, to "create design and architecture solutions that connect people to communities, and history to future, for impact that spans generations," made them the ideal candidate for the job.
The contractors on the job were brought in to provide their expertise in historic renovations. Granger Construction Company is a family-owned company, that offers a wide spectrum of experience and provides customers with the trust and confidence required for successful partnerships. Schiffer Mason Contractor, are "highly trained craftsmen that possess a vast knowledge and skill set combined with historic practices and modern technology to bring new life back into historic buildings."
Part of the original design were large bands of glass block across the façade at every floor. The original block used an old technology to fuse them and after 70 years were compromised. One of the main objectives of the building restoration was maintaining the original look. GBA Architectural Products + Services were brought in to facilitate the glass block portion of the restoration. As the largest and most experienced commercial installer of glass block in the country, we had the honor of collaborating on a new improved glass block, keeping with the appearance and intent of the original design. We ended up receiving approval for a 8" x 8" x 4" clear block. A custom gray edge coat was used to most accurately mirror the original appearance.
Collaboratively the work was designed, dimensioned, and detailed to create an appearance most aptly described as fantastic and we are happy to have contributed our share.