The man behind Detroit, Michigan’s, most iconic skyscraper has passed away. John Portman’s family announced the renowned architect had died at the age of 93 this past Sunday, according to The New York Times.
Portman ushered in a revolutionary architecture for skyscrapers that included the atrium. Many have experienced the architecture without knowing it was Portman’s signature look; pedestrians will find the design in numerous hotels and office buildings that tower above guests with balconies looking down to the ground floor. Portman first ushered the look in with the Hyatt Corporations hotel properties.
The Renaissance Center remains one of Portman’s shining stars. Built in the 1970s, the four skyscrapers encompassing 39 stories and a 73-story hotel, the building envisioned a revitalized downtown Detroit. At the time, Portman’s mission failed, though its effects are better felt in present day. The now GM headquarters houses a movie theater, shops, restaurants and more.
The Renaissance Center will undergo a refresh set for completing sometime in 2018, or possibly in 2019. Dubbed the GM Experience, the new space will focus on the past, present and future of the automaker. The exterior will also feature a large LED screen that will overlook Jefferson Avenue. Another 8,000 square-feet will also be added to the area currently housing the People Mover station.