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.