Detroit Free Press: Mike Ilitch School of Business adds modernist splash to Woodward Avenue

Wayne State University cut the ribbon Tuesday on its new Mike Ilitch School of Business, the latest addition to downtown Detroit's growing list of attractions. The new school is many things at once: First, it delivers a shot of modernism to Woodward Avenue's mostly traditional architectural environment. Designed by Detroit's based SmithGroup, the new school features four-stories of glass-enclosed classrooms and a stunning new open-air gathering space on the top floor, called the Terrace. Offering terrific views of downtown, the Terrace is likely to become one of downtown's popular venues for special events. Next, the school also fronts directly on Woodward Avenue, vying to become not an isolated ivy-covered building tucked away on a campus, but an open, welcoming addition to the streetscape. The school also will house WSU's two newer business programs — one training students in sports and entertainment management and one for entrepreneurship and innovation. WSU President M. Roy Wilson said he and Christopher Ilitch spent a lot of time with architects at SmithGroup trying to design a school that was open and welcoming, with  the many formal and informal gathering places, including the Terrace and an outside lawn suitable for tented events, as a result.

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