Ferris State University – Michigan College of Optometry

  • area / size 82,661 sqft
  • Completed 2011
  • Neumann/Smith Architecture completed the design for Ferris State University’s Michigan College of Optometry located in Big Rapids, Michigan.

    The design of the new 82,661 sf facility incorporates elements and materials common to neighboring buildings in a bold arrangement of forms.

    The lobby serves not only as a welcoming space, but a space vital to the function of the building itself. Considering that the majority of students spend their entire day within the building, the lobby was designed to provide a number of spaces for them to study, collaborate and socialize.

    Sheltered by deep overhands, high performance glass and sun-shaded window wall systems, the lobby provides comfortable, useful spaces for the students. This dynamic space features a monumental stair, which provides access to the classrooms and labs located on the second floor.

    The first floor is dedicated to a modern eye and vision care clinic. The second floor includes flexible flat-floored classrooms, a virtual classroom and a computer lab. The third-floor pre-clinic laboratory features teaching-in-the round, a one-of-a-kind optometric educational experience allowing the student direct line-of-sight contact with the professor from their respective optical lanes. Programmed as a more formal setting, the virtual classroom provides seating for 70 at fixed tables with movable seats. In addition to standard audio/visual equipment, the classroom is outfitted with cameras, sound recording and sound reinforcement technology allowing for distance learning opportunities.

    The LEED Gold building features a super energy efficient exterior envelope with an exterior wall R value that is 28% higher than required by the energy code. Overall energy performance is approximately 17.5% better than conventionally constructed buildings.

    ArchitectNeumann/Smith Architecture
    Contractor: Clark Construction Company
    PhotographyJustin Maconochie and Dietrich Floeter Photography