CCS inaugurates A Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education

The College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit, US, has inaugurated the A Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education, an integrated educational community focused on art and design.

Through a $145 million redevelopment project, the college transformed General Motors’ Argonaut Building, located in Detroit’s New Center district, into the Taubman Center, which now becomes an integral part of Detroit’s Creative Economy initiative. The building had been named the A Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education, in recognition of local businessman and philanthropist A Alfred Taubman’s $15 million lead gift to the “Advancing the Creative Spirit” capital campaign, and his ongoing dedication to the project and the college.

The Taubman Center brings 2,000 new students, teachers, faculty, parents, staff and visitors to Detroit’s New Center district daily and provides a 24/7 presence to the area with 300 students living in the student residence hall with loft-style dorm rooms and a 360-seat dining facility. The center for design education extends from middle school through graduate school and beyond into the professional realm.

A conference center on the top floor with a flexible auditorium space that will seat up to 400 people and include a series of break-out rooms for meetings, and a number of retail and exhibition spaces are expected to be completed in the coming months. The Taubman Center also has 80,000 square feet of development space available for new or growing creative businesses, support services and professional networks.

The main promenade of the Taubman Center features Detroit Deliquescence, a 17 feet sculpture executed out of salvaged auto parts by sculptor John Chamberlain.

General Motors, which built the 760,000 square feet Argonaut Building as its first research facility, donated the building to the college and also donated three adjacent pieces of property. Renovations began on the building in May 2008 and is being led by project architect Albert Kahn Associates, with a development team led by Larson Realty Group, and includes Jones Lang LaSalle and Preservation Development. Walbridge is the general contractor. Work is expected to continue through 2010.

The Taubman Center serves as a second campus site for the college, housing CCS’s five undergraduate design departments and its new Master of Fine Arts degree programs in Design and Transportation Design.

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