Working in a Yamasaki

Working in a Yamasaki

Last summer, my wife and I enjoyed a walking tour of Wayne State University in midtown Detroit. Among its most striking features were the architectural designs of world-renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki, including the McGregor Memorial Conference Center and the College of Education building.

Yamasaki was a first-generation Japanese-American born and raised in Seattle. He moved to New York City and earned his Masters at NYU before joining a prominent Detroit architectural firm in 1945. He went on to international fame as a leading proponent of “New Formalism” designing such masterpieces as the Torre Picasso Building in Madrid and the ill-fated Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.

This March, Crain’s Detroit Business featured Yamasaki and one of his local projects as a cover story. I was delighted (and a bit embarrassed) to learn for the first time that Yamasaki had designed the Brookfield Office Park in Farmington Hills, Michigan, home of, among others, the law firm of Wright Beamer. Looking at our building now, Yamasaki’s influence is obvious, but this fact escaped me until I read the article in Crain’s.

As I write, crews are working to expand Wright Beamer’s suite of offices in order to accommodate our growing practice. It gives me great satisfaction knowing that we have staked a claim in a local masterpiece. If you are in the neighborhood, by all means stop by and visit!

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