David D. Hunting YMCA

Grand Rapids, MI
Construction Cost: $20 million
Area / Square Feet: 160,000
Occupancy Date: June 2005

A groundbreaking facility in several respects, the David D. Hunting YMCA is both the largest big city Y in the country and the first to seek and earn LEED™ certification. The Hunting Y received accolades from the panel for various other reasons, as well, particularly its tight urban siting that encouraged designers to build up and not out. The result is a dynamic, multilevel floor plan that both affords views of the Grand Rapids skyline to the east and creates exceptionally functional interior spaces.

Infused with energy and excitement, these activity spaces are physically and visually connected. It was no surprise to the judges, then, that users are naturally drawn to the numerous conversation areas placed throughout the facility.

Outside, glass curtainwalls combine with zinc panels and renaissance stone to express the image of a solid, long-term community landmark. This contrast between solidity and transparency establishes a kinetic experience enjoyed by individuals exercising inside as well as those passing through the busy intersection outside.

Judge's Comments

Well conceived and executed. The owner received great value in a very functional facility . hard to believe.
— Art Bodwell

Upper-level lobby/reception area offers great support for the six classrooms. I like the openness of the third-level activity areas. Clean, simple interiors are very pleasant.
— Chris Kastelic

This YMCA makes a strong statement. The sensible floor plan allows light to penetrate all areas, creating activity spaces that can be easily supervised.
— Anita Moran