The Eddy
Benton Harbor, Michigan

Whirlpool Corporation sought to develop The Eddy as an on-campus resource for approximately 4,000 employees working in surrounding facilities. The objective was to create an accessible childcare facility, both in terms of location and affordability, that would benefit the Whirlpool’s working families. As accessible, affordable, and enrichment-minded childcare options lack in the area, Whirlpool’s investment in The Eddy addresses a growing corporate need to provide work-life balance links that aid in recruitment and retention of workplace talent. The architecture and landscaping are woven into the existing fabric of the site, shifting the form and layout to celebrate the existing mature oak trees; over 50 trees were saved overall.  Using the symbol of trees as further design inspiration, the trees’ growth rings relate to the development of the children. An elliptical ring shape – similar to the Whirlpool logo and reminiscent of trees’ growth rings – inspire the profile of the terrarium, the learning pavilion, and elements throughout the landscape. The success of the project lies in the combination and integration of building and nature to create spaces that bring the mind and body together and provide room for children to run, climb, slide, explore, and express themselves in an intentional and secure environment.

840 Ottawa Avenue NW | Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | 1.800.698.9493 Toll Free