Wakefield Memorial Building

Unbuilt Design Award Submission

The goal of this 34,000 sq. ft. project is to replace the aged, existing facility with a state-of-the-art building that is equally inspirational as the original. The design concept draws on three distinct elements for inspiration: the ‘sunshine lamp’, the ‘head frame/hoist building’, and the reddish-brown mineral ‘hematite’.

First, the central focal point will be the great hall, based on the earliest form of underground lighting. The iconic shape will allow for a three-story space with a grand fireplace that rises up through the copper clad iron conical frame. At night, this illuminated glass element symbolizes the memory of those who have given to their community.

Second, the ‘head frame/hoist building’, once used as the workhorse of mining production, has been reinterpreted as the stage/production element of the theatre. This element will rise to a height that serves all of the needs of the backstage operations including lighting, catwalks, sound/acoustics, screens, and backdrops.

Third, the living and working portion of the building will house the library, City Offices, Council Chambers, multi-purpose hall, and swimming pool. This building form finds its inspiration in the transformation from a functioning grid to the organic form found in the local crystalline mineral hematite.

Myefski Architects, Inc.
Wakefield, Michigan