Renaissance Center is a complex of seven interconnected skyscrapers located at the International Riverfront in Downtown Detroit, Michigan. It is also known as GM Renaissance Center or by its more popular nickname, RenCen. Is it owned by General Motors and made it as the company’s world headquarters. It is considered as the tallest building in Michigan. It also has the tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, which also features the largest rooftop restaurant.
Renaissance Center History
Henry Ford II first conceived the construction of the Renaissance Center sometime in the early 1970’s. The development was aimed to revitalize the economy of Detroit. In 1970, Henry Ford II teamed up with other businessmen in the city in order to form Detroit Renaissance, a private non-profit organization that aimed to stimulate economic growth within the city.
The group started the first phase of the development in 1971. John Portman was the principal architect of the original design for the complex. The first phase first opened in March 1977. Two additional towers, Tower 500 and Tower 600 were opened in 1981. In 2004, the complex underwent some renovation which included the construction of a 5-story Wintergarden Atrium. Work on the complex continued until 2005.
Renaissance Center Features
The centerpiece of the Renaissance Center is the 73-story luxury hotel which stands 727 feet or 221.5 meters. It is surrounded by four 39-story office towers. The main design of the complex is a five-building rosette with interior spaces. There are small cylinders located on the sides of each of the towers that house the elevators.
The Renaissance Center is noted for its cylindrical design. The complex follows the Modern architectural style using glass as the main material. The design of the Wintergarden Atrium which was revealed in 2001 is consistent with influences of Brutalist architecture, characterized by heavy massing of concrete on the lower floors.