KPF presents Detroit’s new University of Michigan Center for Innovation design | News



Frontal view of the new UMCI building. Image credit: Kohn Pedersen Fox

Frontal view of the new UMCI building. Image credit: Kohn Pedersen Fox

A new project in Detroit from Kohn Pedersen Fox will deliver the University of Michigan’s Center for Innovation (UMCI), a six-story academic research and teaching facility that is expected to open by the spring of 2027.

Construction has already commenced for the $250 million development, which will be delivered at 200,000 square feet in advance of two other “incubator” and residential structures that will follow at a later date on the four-acre site. The university says the UMCI will serve a host of purposes and is primarily intended for workforce development and different graduate degree programs.

Atrium view. Image credit: Kohn Pedersen Fox

KPF Design Principal Hana Kassem describes: “The UMCI is a catalyst for positive change and, as such, presents itself along Grand River Avenue as a ‘gateway for innovation. It proudly bears the University of Michigan spirit focusing on progress and inclusivity which is embodied in its dynamic forward-leaning form and the portal that cuts through it, inviting access to all. Its transparent facade at street level engages the passerby, showcasing innovation, by putting making and research on display.”

Mezzanine view. Image credit: Kohn Pedersen Fox

“UMCI will bring together the best of the University of Michigan to catalyze economic development in the city of Detroit,” U-M Provost Laurie McCauley added. “It will house a robust portfolio of academic programs, including new interdisciplinary graduate degrees and certificate programs aligned to the skills of the future needed to attract startups as well as major employers to the region.”

Atrium view. Image credit: Kohn Pedersen Fox

Next year marks the University of Michigan’s twentieth year of operating its U-M Detroit Center. KPF has also designed the Michigan Ross School of Business for the university and will leverage similar academic research projects for the University of Minnesota and CUNY in their delivery of the new UMCI design.

Aerial view of the new UMCI building in Detroit. Image credit: Kohn Pedersen Fox

“UMCI will also host a multitude of community engagement activities for the residents of Detroit, ranging from K-12 programs like the Michigan Engineering Zone to the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project and many more,” McCauley said finally.

KPF is currently hiring for two positions in its New York office via Archinect Jobs.


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