The University of Michigan Center for Innovation in Detroit. Photo credit: Lemons Bucket

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Daily Commercial News Lauds KPF’s University of Michigan Center for Innovation

The six-story building is the centerpiece of the University’s increased investment in Detroit and a symbol of the city’s resurgence.

The KPF-designed University of Michigan Center for Innovation will offer programs that focus on high-tech research, education, and innovation for university students and the community at large and will add a new node to the mixed-use sports, entertainment, and innovation hub known as District Detroit.

An article in Daily Commercial News points out that the center will transform an underutilized corner of the city’s downtown that is currently relegated to surface parking and catalyze local economic development and job creation. According to the post, the center represents the latest and most significant in a series of investments in downtown Detroit by the university that began with the Detroit Center in the Renaissance Midtown district a decade ago. Comprising three buildings, the new Center for Innovation is an investment on an altogether different scale.

The first building, a 200,000-square-foot structure with a transparent façade, will house research and graduate education facilities in the fields of mobility, artificial intelligence, data science, entrepreneurship, cybersecurity, financial technology, and more. The initial phase of the build-out will also include incubator and start-up services for entrepreneurs, collaboration space for established companies, residential units, a hotel and conference center, and event space.

Scott Shireman, the center’s director is quoted saying, “It almost looks like a building in motion. I think that’s a nod to the history of mobility and automotive and all of that in Detroit,” and explains that the transparent façade is intended to make indoor activity visible from the street, inviting engagement between the university and the public. Read the full story here.