Steelcase Creates New Spaces for Gerald R. Ford International Airport

Local collaboration brings comfort, convenience and smart design to busy travelers at the airport.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI, November 17, 2017 – Steelcase partnered with Gerald R. Ford International Airport to design new business centers and work-life lounges for travelers. These new spaces are part of a larger $45 million renovation project, known as the Gateway Transformation project, that the Grand Rapids airport has been implementing throughout the year.
Recognizing the importance of the airport’s role in the community, Steelcase committed to a 10-year sponsorship for four different spaces within the airport. The spaces include two Business Centers, and two Work-Life lounges located in each concourse.

These spaces were designed around the central question of how airport destinations can provide connection, respite, information and comfort in new, unexpected ways. Steelcase designers intended to make a memorable, meaningful and calming experience for travelers. Designing across generations and traveler types provided an innovative challenge for the team as Steelcase aimed to create an easy, positive experience that feels tailored to each traveler.

“You need to understand how and why people use a space, and then create spaces to reflect clarity, simplicity and purpose.”

Cherie JohnsonDirector, Steelcase Global Design

The goals for the new spaces included

  • Enriching the comfort, convenience and experiences of travelers and guests.
  • Deliver differentiated choice and control.
  • Create areas for respite and privacy, away from common airport chaos.
  • Support emotional/physical/cognitive wellbeing.
  • Address needs of all generations and passenger types.
  • Support technology use and provide access to power devices.

The Business Centers are an area for mobile workers offering a variety of settings to accommodate both focus and collaboration. These centers cater to individuals and groups, with a central location to collaborate.

Each Concourse hosts a Work-Life lounge that are multifunctional social spaces that encourage networking and respite with many options for all traveler types. These spaces offer opportunities to sit or stand in a space that supports a variety of modes for work, waiting, interactions and privacy levels.

These destinations provide space for collaboration for large groups or families while also supporting privacy, quiet, concentration and creative performance. They are designed for focus and interaction as well as rest and rejuvenation.

These smartly designed, airport-appropriate destinations are intended to leave a positive impression of the Gerald R. Ford Airport and Grand Rapids community, encouraging people to think differently about how they travel.

To learn more about the Gateway Transformation project at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, to see a full list of updates and a map of construction areas, please visit

About Steelcase Inc.
For over 105 years, Steelcase Inc. has helped create great experiences for the world’s leading organizations, across industries. We demonstrate this through our family of brands – including Steelcase®, Coalesse®, Designtex®, PolyVision® and Turnstone®. Together, they offer a comprehensive portfolio of architecture, furniture and technology products and services designed to unlock human promise and support social, economic and environmental sustainability. We are globally accessible through a network of channels, including over 800 dealer locations. Steelcase is a global, industry-leading and publicly traded company with fiscal 2017 revenue of $3.0 billion.

Katie Woodruff