Van Buren Township acquired property to be the new home of the Van Buren Downtown Development Authority. The property is off Belleville Road, a busy thoroughfare. The site had various challenges including existing potentially historic structures, connectivity requirements to nearby businesses, proximity to existing property lines and utilities, and various landscaping challenges including drainage and wayfinding, while maintaining a place of quietness and peace.
Wakely was chosen to complete the design of the new facility, which after analyzing the site became multiple buildings. The existing site is one of the oldest farms in the area and contained an old garage and a small building with touches of design elements from the late 1800s. Wakely wanted to preserve some of those aesthetics by incorporating them into the new design. The goals included retaining the historic nature of the site, creating a connection to nature with landscaping and wayfinding, designing a safe and well-lit pathways for residents and employees and to design a building that can still function as office space and be efficient for those working within, and maintain an overall area of peace and solitude while being a few yards from a busy thoroughfare.
Merging Old with New
To pay homage to a simpler time in Van Buren Township, Wakely delicately integrated the farm house aesthetics of the standing structures on the site into the new building design.