GM announces final stage of design studios expansion

Automotive Design 31 Aug 2017
GM announces final stage of design studios expansion

The new GM studio building will open in mid-2018. It will surround the iconic Design Dome Auditorium and viewing patio and connect to the existing Design Center.


A 360,000-square-foot expansion of the GM Design studios is the final stage of a multiyear $1 billion investment in GM’s Global Technical Center, a National Historic Landmark site.

A substantial two-to-three-year project, the new building’s footprint first requires the completion of a new parking structure currently underway at the southwest corner of the campus.

“We can only begin to predict how mobility will change in future generations,” said Michael Simcoe, vice president of Global Design. “Investing in our creative and skilled team and providing them with inspiring, modern spaces, new technologies and more ways to work together will foster innovation that leads to real solutions for customers.”

GM previously announced a multiyear Technical Center campus investment that includes new construction, significant renovations of some existing facilities and the expansion of some operations. Construction began in May 2015.

Significant building renovations include:

  • Vehicle Engineering Center
  • Alternative Energy Center, including a new Structural Development Lab
  • Pre-Production Operations
  • Engineering West and South

Design and construction for GM’s new Design studios is managed by Walbridge, in partnership with SmithGroup JJR, which received an honor award from the American Institute of Architects for its work on the interior renovation of the GM Design Dome and Auditorium in 2014.

Simcoe, the seventh Design leader in GM history, has been instrumental in the development and expansion of other GM global design studios. Now past its 90th year, GM Design was established in 1927 as The Art and Colour Section by the legendary Harley Earl.

Above: a historic documentary re-released in 2015 by General Motors

The Tech Center campus opened in 1956 and was the pinnacle of engineering, design and advanced technology at the time. It was designed by world-renowned architect Eero Saarinen and landscape architect Thomas Church. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 2014 by the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service. In 2000, the campus was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1986, the American Institute of Architects honored the Tech Center as the most outstanding architectural project of its era.

(Source: General Motors)

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