Taubman College Celebrates Building Addition with Benefactor Mr. Taubman

Taubman College Celebrates Building Addition with Benefactor Mr. Taubman

On April 15, 2015, University of Michigan’s Regent Kathy White, University of Michigan’s President Mark ​Schlissel and Taubman College Architecture and Urban Planning Dean Monica Ponce de Leon held a Groundbreaking Ceremony with donor, A. Alfred Taubman on the new wing of the Art & Architecture building.

The new building addition of Taubman College will be named the A. Alfred Taubman Wing. Architecture and urban planning students, faculty, staff and alumni, along with North Campus colleges, gathered for the ground breaking presentation.

Dean Ponce de Leon introduced Mr. Taubman, recognizing him as a pioneer and visionary in real estate and an active leader in a wide range of business, civic, cultural, and educational activities around the world.

In 1999, Mr. Taubman donated $30 million dollars to the College of Architecture and Urban Planning – one of the largest gifts in the history of the University of Michigan and the largest ever to a school of architecture at the time.  In recognition of this significant gift, the college was renamed in his honor.

His recent gift of $12.5 million dollars is providing the financial support for the A. Alfred Taubman Wing.  When complete, the A. Alfred Taubman Wing will consist of 36,000 gross square feet and include new studio space, faculty offices, a new classroom, student support spaces and multipurpose commons space for the presentation of academic projects and for events. 

“As one of the first universities to offer courses in architecture starting in 1876, to being one of the first in the country to offer a graduate program in urban planning in 1946 to the robust programs of study in architecture and planning that we offer today, we have been at the forefront of our respective fields,” said Dean Ponce de Leon. “It is transformational gifts like Mr. Taubman’s that will play a key role in keeping us there for years to come and further solidify the amazing legacy of architecture and planning at the University of Michigan.”

The ceremonial shoveling of the ground was performed by Taubman College’s Kuka robot, normally used for architectural digital fabrication research, painted maize and blue for the occasion. Photo courtesy, Peter Smith Photography.

WATCH THE VIDEO: Robotic Groundbreaking – 04/15/2015 from Taubman College on Vimeo.

“The new wing will establish a remarkable visual presence that reflects the academic strength and influence of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning,” said President Schlissel. 

A major new multi-purpose commons that will provide a central gathering place for all members of the community and acts as the “heart of the building” providing one large space for college-wide events. 

A rendering of the “Commons.”

Acknowledging Mr. Taubman’s leadership gift that made the building renovation and expansion possible, University of Michigan Regent Kathy White remarked, ‘If public higher education funding models hold to current standards, philanthropy will grow evermore important going forward. I encourage others to join the circle of Michigan alumni and friends whose generous gifts impact our community of scholars, and the world our scholarship and research benefits now and far into the future.'” 

Preston Scott Cohen is the design architect working in conjunction with Integrated Design Solutions (IDS), an architectural firm based in Troy, MI. Paul Stachowiak (B.S. ’76, M Arch ’77) is president of IDS. University of Michigan Regents approved the schematic design of the new Taubman College building addition at the December 18, 2014, Regents meeting. The building is anticipated to be completed in 2017.