A $145,000,000 investment will transform the Argonaut Building into a second campus for the College for Creative Studies
. The building will house undergraduate and graduate programs
in design, community outreach activities, student housing, research
and professional activities in the design fields, and an art- and design- oriented charter
middle school and high school.
It will open in fall 2009.
The significant development will impact the college, the New Center neighborhood and the city as a whole. "This is going to transform CCS, operating on two sites with double the square footage. We're going to be
operating a graduate program and operating a middle and high school," says president Richard Rogers. "It's a new educational model
that we're pursuing, and I think it's going to enhance the college's stature in arts
and design education and it's going to enable us to have a much more significant impact on the well-being of the city."
CCS will occupy approximately 70 percent of the
11-story Albert Kahn-designed Argonaut Building. Its design-based majors -- Transportation, Product, Interior,
Graphic and Advertising -- and its Master of Fine Arts
degree programs in Design and in Transportation Design, which will launch in 2009, will be housed in the facility.
New Center site will also be home to CCS’s Community Arts
Partnerships program, its Continuing Education department, 300 beds of
student housing, a
conference center with a 400-seat auditorium and a
partnering with the Thompson Educational Foundation and Henry Ford
to operate the middle and high school. "Creativity will be built into the curricula of the schools along with the
standard curricula," says Rogers. "The college and the school
are going to interact in a number of ways." For example, CCS art education students will be able to do their student teaching in the lower schools.
The Argonaut will also be home to Detroit Renaissance’s new
creative economy initiative which is intended to provide rental
space and support services to fledgling creative businesses.
Rogers sees the college's use of the Argonaut as a fitting one. Originally built as a research facility by General Motors, it became
home to the automotive industry's first design department. "The activities that the
building originally contained are very close to the ones that CCS teaches," he says. "It's really great that a building that's
this old can be repurposed in a way that will essentially make it
brand new and just as useful as if we'd started from scratch and
built a brand new building."
Rogers says the 760,000-square-foot building is in wonderful structural shape and that its loft-like design is well-suited to CCS's needs. The design architect on the project is, fittingly, Albert Kahn Associates
Source: Richard Rogers, CCS
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh