DGRI Misc Alley

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.
Miscellaneous Alley Conceptual Design
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Located in the heart of Grand Rapids, Miscellaneous Alley runs parallel to Monroe Center. This space currently acts as a service alley, housing waste bins, providing delivery access for several businesses, and informal parking for building tenants. The alley is a connector between several key nodes, such as Rosa Parks Circle, the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, Monument and Veterans Memorial Parks, and has the potential to become both a functional and aesthetic space for building residents and members of the community.

Williams & Works was charged by Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and the Grand Valley Metro Council (GVMC) in creating a conceptual design and marketing graphics for this alley. Stakeholder meetings kicked off the creative process. Several preliminary designs were then developed and reviewed by DGRI’s Alliance Goal 5 group, and adjacent building tenants and property managers.

Through the final conceptual design, the Miscellaneous Alley is re-imagined as a verdant oasis. Sculptural archways form the gates to the garden alley, with dense native plantings and green walls lining the edges. Centrally located, bollards enclose a purely pedestrian space framed with trees, murals, and string lights. The internal area is open and flexible, maintained for non-motorized circulation and as a space for resident gatherings.