- Written by: Tom Faunce
- Produced by: Victor Martins
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Since 1953 TowerPinkster has been an architectural and engineering firm designing creative solutions for people to work, live and play. With offices in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, Michigan, TowerPinkster has grown from its humble beginnings of six employees, to a staff of more than 75, including 18 registered architects, 11 engineers, four interior designers and one landscape architect along with an entire support staff.
TowerPinkster is a well-balanced firm. “We are a multidiscipline company, which I feel sets us apart from many firms,” says Arnold Mikon (FAIA) president and CEO of TowerPinkster. “Our collaborative, integrated approach with architects, interior designers, mechanical and electrical engineers and planners here all under one roof really is a benefit to clients.”
A strong team
Continuity is a key factor for the smooth process created by TowerPinkster. Unless a project calls for civil or structural engineering, the company provides the complete package of creative design solutions. “We have a very talented architectural and engineering team,” says Bjorn Green, senior principal and planner. “We are known for actively listening and engaging with clients to find the right design solution. Our engineers have also worked directly with Consumers Energy, which is a Michigan energy provider, on many of their pilot programs for energy savings initiatives,” says Green. “We also have a strong engineering component to our work, too.”
TowerPinkster serves a blend of markets and has a diverse practice which allows opportunities to learn from different approaches and solutions. Included in the markets in which the firm serves are K-12 and higher education. “For our higher education clients, we have built a portfolio of master planning, student centers, business schools, and historic renovations as well as classrooms and labs,” says Green. “Our recent efforts include campus master planning for numerous clients like Aquinas College as well as the design of business schools for Central Michigan University and Northwood University. We make a very conscious and concerted effort to listen and engage with each district and community.”
A growing portfolio
One of the more notable projects in which TowerPinkster has recently completed for the K-12 market is the Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center (BCAMSC) which was the transformation of the former Kellogg’s Cereal City Museum into a high-tech, state-of-the-art educational facility. The BCAMSC is an accelerated mathematics and science high school specializing in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. TowerPinkster used biological science for inspiration on the project and was awarded the prestigious, national John Shaw Award by the Council for Educational Facility Planners (CEFPI).
“We also serve government clients and much of our work is for county facilities as well as the state of Michigan,” says Mikon. “Some of the areas in which we specialize are community mental health facilities, correctional facilities, county courthouses and long-range master plans. We are currently completing construction for Kalamazoo County Courts.”
In the commercial sector, TowerPinkster often works with clients, developers and contractors on retail projects, mixed-use developments and office buildings. These projects include interior tenant fit-outs, auto dealerships, restaurants, banks, multifamily residential and many non-profit organizations as well as a number of craft breweries. “Given the growth in the craft beer industry in Michigan, we have developed a unique niche portfolio in brewery design which includes Arcadia Brewing Company, Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewery, Boatyard Brewery and a number of other projects currently in the works,” mentions Green. “Interestingly, we have a number of staff members that are home brewers which provides a solid base of knowledge of the brewing process.”
The firm also serves the health care market and has completed family health clinics, diagnostic labs, medical office buildings, assisted and long-term care communities and cancer centers. TowerPinkster recently worked with Spectrum Health on the Helen DeVos Pediatric Ambulatory Clinic which was a collaboration of multiple pediatric practices into a unified clinical environment. The resulting innovative design uses a series of flexible modules, electronic scheduling and monitoring to enhance the patient experience, and creates elasticity in the day-to-day clinical space and operational process. This unique design also minimizes the number of transitions and steps that each patient and physician must take which further maximizes the patient-centered care philosophy.
Over the years, TowerPinkster has established and maintained valuable relationships with existing clients, consultants and construction management companies. “It is extremely important for us to maintain and cultivate those relationships,” says Mikon, “We have worked really hard at this over the years. Our consistent, repeat business from clients and our strong reputation in the community is a clear indication that we have successfully coupled innovative design with exceptional customer service.”
As the company moves forward, TowerPinkster continues to build upon relationships with clients while accepting opportunities to create new partnerships.
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