Time flies when you're renovating an old car dealership into an advanced research laboratory. We're about a year and a half into construction at Wayne State's $93M Multipurpose Biomedical Research Building (MBRB), which happens to be the school's largest construction project ever.
The new building uses the bones of a much older building—the former Dalgleish Cadillac dealership, an Albert Kahn design dating back to 1927. Today, the site is a deafeningly loud mud pie teeming with dozens of workers.
When construction finishes up in about a year, the MBRB will have the DNA of two separate buildings—Albert Kahn's Dalgleish Cadillac and a brand new structure designed by Harley Ellis Devereaux. Those on Woodward Avenue will see the new, glassy facade of a modern research facility, while passersby on Cass Avenue will see the familiar Kahn building, just in much better shape.
Construction has not been easy. Throughout the especially miserable winter, workers had to make temporary shelters inside the building just to stay warm. The latest victory is the exterior glass on the Woodward-facing side. The glass will be a recurring theme throughout the building, which was specifically designed to encourage collaboration between all the researchers that will be working here.
Photos below are interspersed with renderings. Want to see the Dalgleish dealership pre-construction? Head over to our construction preview.