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College for Creative Studies

Detroit, MI

Detroit-based College for Creative Studies (CCS) began exploring opportunities that would address its growth needs. Located one mile from the college’s main campus in the Cultural Center, the 11-story, 760,000 sq. ft. Argonaut Building was a dream come true. Designed by Albert Kahn as General Motors’ Engineering and Design Center, it is now home to the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education, a mixed-use educational complex housing offices for non-profit organizations, a business accelerator, shared public spaces, academic space and student housing for CCS’ undergraduate/graduate design schools.

It also serves as an 800-pupil charter school for the Henry Ford Academy. After weeks of programming meetings with the CCS team, the Henry Ford Learning Institute and potential tenants, the Kahn team established occupant needs. Planning exercises were conducted to determine how the Argonaut Building could best meet needs identified in the programming sessions. Design concepts implemented planning criteria in an exciting and cost effective manner, including the addition of a large floor opening in the lobby area, re-cladding the arched ceiling of the original design laboratory for use as an auditorium, reuse of an abandoned elevator shaft for a stairwell and fresh air intakes on each floor. Construction of a gymnasium and support spaces augmented the adaptive reuse of this building.


2013 AIA Michigan Honor Award
2010 AIA Detroit Honor Award
2010 CREW Detroit Impact Award
2010 ESD Construction & Design Award
2010 Michigan Governors Award For Historic Preservation
2010 Michigan Historic Preservation Network Tax Credit Award

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