The multi-phase development of Ann Arbor’s dynamic municipal center has transformed the city’s aging downtown complex with a new justice building, a revitalized city hall, and public gardens and plazas.
The 186,000-square-foot complex consolidated city administration, the police department, and the 15th District Court and created an accessible, pedestrian-friendly civic center at a substantial savings over an all-new municipal complex.
A COMMITMENT TO THE COMMUNITY
A multi-phase schedule and a thoughtful approach to the site design reflect the city’s commitment to the community. The city hall remained open and operational throughout design and construction. The site, located just a few blocks from the University of Michigan, has been redesigned as a welcoming, pedestrian-friendly public venue, with gardens, plazas, picnic tables, public art, and a green roof promenade. A large glass atrium opens the new justice center along one corner, while a landscaped plaza provides a connection to city hall. Several sustainable measures optimize the site’s ecological performance, with the water and vegetation systems designed to help protect the nearby Huron River.
ADDRESSING MULTIPLE MUNICIPAL NEEDS
The City of Ann Arbor faced several challenges prior to the development of its new municipal center, including outdated, inadequate space for its police department and administrative staff and the need for new space to house the 15th District Court. The decision to renovate the existing city hall and add an adjacent five-story justice center, rather than create an all-new multipurpose facility, saved the city money and created an opportunity to enliven the central downtown block as a vibrant urban center.