Grand Valley State University – Niemeyer Living Center & Honors College

Project Details


Grand Valley State University


Allendale, MI


227,601 square feet; 447 beds





Provided architectural, interior design, site/landscape, and construction administration services for the next phase of residence hall student housing on the south end of Grand Valley’s Allendale campus. The project includes two, three-story residence hall wings totaling 186,735 SF and 447 beds in 168 units, connected by the 40,866 SF Honors College that includes classrooms, case rooms, reading room, computer lab, student work area, lounge, multi-purpose room, gallery area, meeting rooms, kitchen, breakout areas, and restrooms. Two main challenges were overcome with the design and planning of this project. First, the new project needed to be site planned to “fit” between an existing housing project to the west, a major steam tunnel to the north, an existing utilities building to the east, and a major ravine to the south. After much thought, effort,and building footprint manipulation, the new housing project fits in beautifully with its surroundings. The second main challenge with the design of the Honors College was the architectural integration of the Honors College (classrooms, offices, labs, study spaces, etc.) into a residential project. The two-story Honors College portion of the project is situated between two three-story wings of residential units. The architecture of the two separate uses (Honors College and housing) needed to blend in seamlessly, as well as be able to align three smaller floor to floor residential wings with two taller Honors College floor to floor heights. Ultimately, both challenges were met with great success for both the students and the University.


GVSU was in need of providing a living/learning environment for its honor college students and faculty.


The resulting project was a 227,000 square foot living/learning facility that includes 450 student beds in a two and four bedroom configuration. In addition to the living element of the project, the learning component utilizes classrooms, laboratory space, facility offices, study spaces, and student lounges.