ANN ARBOR—Real estate developer A. Alfred Taubman has committed $12.5 million to the University of Michigan to help fund a sweeping renovation project that will provide state-of-the-art facilities for the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, one of the nation’s leading programs on the built environment.

Taubman’s gift follows his $30-million donation 15 years ago to U-M’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning—the single largest gift ever to an architecture program in America. From that gift, $5 million was earmarked for future renovations of the architecture and urban planning facilities. With this latest gift, Taubman’s lifetime giving to the university now totals $154.7 million, including gifts for medical research, health care and the arts.

“If anyone understands the importance and value of a well-designed space it is Alfred Taubman,” said U-M President Mary Sue Coleman. “This latest gift demonstrates his unparalleled commitment to the success of University of Michigan students and faculty as they pursue their studies and scholarship.”

A legend in retailing, Taubman studied architecture at U-M before founding his own real estate company in 1950. The firm flourished across the country, developing upscale shopping malls that re-envisioned retail design. Taubman’s memoir, “Threshold Resistance,” is named for one of his most innovative design concepts: the open-front store that eliminates the barrier between shopper and merchandise.

Taubman’s latest donation to U-M will enable a $28-million renovation and expansion at the Taubman College. The architectural firm of Integrated Design Solutions, in conjunction with Preston Scott Cohen Inc., will design the project.

Built in 1974, the college’s current facilities have never been renovated. The new facilities will better align with the innovative interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning for which the college is known.

“By any measure, the college’s people and programs are among the very best in the nation,” Taubman said. “I think it’s important that the college’s physical environment better reflect and support that level of excellence.”

In preparation for the project, Taubman and Dean Monica Ponce de Leon researched architectural designs that best support an interdisciplinary and collaborative learning model. They visited and analyzed various schools of architecture and planning nationwide. This research will serve as the basis for the project moving forward… Read more here.

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