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WEEKLY HIGHLIGHT

Prentis Building and DeRoy Auditorium Complex,
Wayne County, Michigan

[photo] Prentis Building and DeRoy Auditorium

The Prentis Building and Helen L. DeRoy Auditorium on Wayne State University's campus were built in 1962-64 and designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki, FAIA. These buildings reflect a critical period in Minoru Yamasaki's career (late 1950s and early 1960s) when he experimented with ornament and the effects of list and shadow as well as using pools and gardens to soften the urban character. The two buildings were designed specifically to relate to each other in terms of function, architectural aesthetic, and spatial feel. The Prentis Building (currently home to the School of Business Administration) has distinctive upper floors that project outward, supported by thin columns. The recessed lower floors' off-center open walkway provides a clear view of the DeRoy Auditorium front fa├žade. DeRoy is a windowless rectangular building with exterior tracery detailing that hints at Gothic architecture. Another distinctive feature of DeRoy Auditorium is the reflecting pool that surrounds it on all sides, much like a moat. Visitors must walk across small bridges to access the building. This two-building complex has exceptional national significance for its place in the important career of Minoru Yamasaki and the evolution of architecture. They are two of four buildings on the Wayne State University campus designed by Yamasaki.

Prentis Building
DeRoy Auditorium

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