Blue Cross Blue Shield Customer Service Center – Detroit, MI
With its inviting brick plaza and its unique montage of materials, the new steel framed six-story 170,000 SF Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Customer Service Center in downtown Detroit is doing its part to usher in the city’s long-awaited renaissance. Skillfully woven into the fabric of the city, the building’s brick blends in with the new Greektown Casino and with the rich brickwork of St Mary’s Church and other historic structures in nearby Greektown and Bricktown.
Project highlights include:
- A series of transfer trusses that distribute the office building column loading around the large expanse of the two-story auditorium, eliminating the need for interior columns that would interfere with a clear view of the podium.
- Three-story high precast clad truss columns along north elevation support building=s 4th level and above.
- Six massive and dramatic cantilevered roof trusses at the north and south end of the building, besides supporting the floor loads from fourth, fifth and six levels below. The trusses are clad with precast pieces each weighing twenty tons.
- A 118’ brick tower backed by a steel frame visually anchors the service center to the corner of Lafayette and Beaubien, while the upper levels of precast concrete stretch horizontally along the length of the street. The horizontal windows of the upper three stories mirror those of the Blue Cross Blue Shield tower, a city landmark and corporate icon, long recognized as the defining structure of one of downtown Detroit’s largest employers. The horizontal structure compliments, but does not compete with the existing Blue Cross tower, the only freestanding tower located in this section of the city. By blocking off St. Antoine and Fort Street, Blue Cross transformed urban grid of streets into a super block occupying three downtown city blocks, half dedicated to the building and the other half to parking and landscaping.