Taubman Building Grand Opening

Constructing a New Era

State-of-the-art Taubman Wing opens its doors at Taubman College

Taubman College raised the bar for facility renovation at U-M with its new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certified addition, the A. Alfred Taubman Wing. Taubman College’s namesake, the late A. Alfred Taubman (Taubman College ’48, HLLD ’91), provided the lead gift for the $28.5 million project. Additional support came from the late King Stutzman (AB ’37).

“Taubman College is famous for our robot-filled fabrication labs and our wide-open studio floor,” said Dean Jonathan Massey. “The A. Alfred Taubman Wing and renovation augments these assets with a faculty research hub and a glorious two-story commons that allows the entire college to gather for lectures, studio reviews, and social events. We are excited to form new living and learning relationships within its complex, carefully considered, and sumptuously daylit spaces.”

Robotic arm sketching.
A robotic arm sketches the A. Alfred Taubman Wing at the facility’s grand opening, September 8, 2017. Photo: Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography

The wing’s strategic design will especially boost opportunities for student collaboration. With additional studio areas and spaces for group projects and collaboration in the eight capstone rooms, three meeting rooms, two lounges, and reading room, the additional space nourishes all facets of architecture and planning education.

“This new space allows us to gather together to create, discuss, and design in ways aligned with the trajectory of the profession, steeped in collaboration,” Massey said. The new atrium—a 5,700-square-foot commons space—underscores the addition’s communal focus. Its capacious design, as well as its spiral-like stairs and ramps that create perambulatory patterns and sequences, affords vibrant intellectual and social engagement among faculty and students.

Structural improvements to the Art and Architecture building also include an updated HVAC system and a new roof. The saw-tooth roof on the addition reflects warm, natural light throughout the building—a boon during the cold and cloudy Michigan winters, especially.

An outdoor plaza was also built in the renovations, linking the wing with the rest of the building and providing further communal gathering space.

Students are already settling into the remarkable new space. “Along with the stunning daylighting, unique public spaces, and beautiful views to the exterior,” said Henry Peters (Taubman College Class of 2018), “the new building provides a special opportunity for us to study and be critical of a contemporary work of architecture from the position of the inhabitant.”

Guests explore the new Taubman wing at the grand opening ceremony. Photo: Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography

Collaborative opportunities are another bonus. “The open concept really facilitates discussion between not only people in planning, but people all across the school,” says Emilie Yonan, a master’s student of urban and regional planning.

All told, the new wing and renovation will position Taubman College to continue as a leader in architecture and urban planning. As Massey said, “Beyond the generosity previously provided to the college by Mr. Taubman, his support of the A. Alfred Taubman Wing has created a new era in architecture and planning education.”

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