Mary Free Bed YMCA

Project Details


Mary Free Bed YMCA


Grand Rapids, MI


120,000 square feet





The Mary Free Bed YMCA is a 36-acre, LEED certified community centerpiece that supports children, adults and families with unbridled ease of access to healthy living. This revolutionary new facility was designed with everyone in mind using the principles of Universal Design. The facility is a unique and accessible spaces that benefits the local community.

  • Precedent-setting Universal Design standard campus blending healthy living and rehabilitative health programs
  • Family pool and eight lane lap pool
  • 1/5 mile track
  • 12,500 square feet of fitness equipment
  • Two and a half basketball courts, two soccer fields, three baseball fields
  • Teen center and child watch
  • Healthy living center; health clinic and full service locker rooms
  • Three community use multi-purpose rooms


The objective was to create the world’s first Universal Design-certified building in the world. Our team of architects, engineers and designers were tasked with designing a facility and outdoor space that would meet the needs of many populations, including: the elderly, children and adults with special needs, those with temporary sports injuries or recovering from a medical condition, persons with muscular skeletal disease and people with hearing and sight challenges.


The facility fills a need in the local community – it gives persons with disabilities a place to go and workout, just like anyone else. Additionally, with fields and courts designed specifically for their needs, local wheelchair and adaptive sports programs will be able to practice more often and grow their programs. With special considerations to space and wayfinding, the facility is easy to navigate and accessible to most people.