Firm of Architecture Great Yamasaki Returns to Detroit

September 14, 2017, 3:50 PM by  Catherine Nouhan

The modern-day version of legendary architect Minoru Yamasaki's firm will open an office in the Fisher Building in Detroit's New Center area, the Detroit Free Press reported Thursday. At the peak of his career Yamasaki, opened an architecture firm in Detroit, and lived and designed several buildings across Southeast Michigan. Born in Seattle, he lived and worked in Detroit from 1945 until his death in 1986 at age 73.

MINORU YAMASAKI (Photo: Okinawa Soba)

From the Free Press' John Gallagher:

Robert Szantner, who worked for Yamasaki beginning in 1984 and stayed with the firm until it closed, later bought the intellectual property, including the name, out of receivership. He operated it in Birmingham for a few years but decided to move to Detroit, where Yamasaki himself had launched his firm around 1950.

"I think we’re really interested in that kind of momentum that Detroit has now," Szantner told me. He noted that the firm for many years was better known for its work elsewhere than here at home. "So we’re really excited about the resurgence of the city and want to be able to provide those services that we’re well-known for in other markets."

Here's how Historic Detroit, a site that documents the city's history, describes him:

An unassuming man with a romantic imagination and a talent for attracting as much controversy as celebration, Seattle-born architect Minoru Yamasaki left behind an impressive collection of unapologetically unique modern buildings. Best known for his design of the ill-fated World Trade Center in New York, Yamasaki made a name for himself with whimsical designs that incorporated history, humanism and inspiration into modern, technologically advanced buildings. Yamasaki’s Detroit-based firm is credited with dozens of designs throughout the United States, including in Detroit and numerous other cities, as well as in Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia and India. The American Institute of Architects awarded him three AIA First Honor Awards, and in 1963, named him an AIA Fellow.

In 2013, Curbed Detroit published an interactive map of Yamasaki's best work across metropolitan Detroit.

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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