General Motors Corporation


General Motors Design Dome & Auditorium

Warren, Michigan


Architecture, Interior Architecture, Lighting Design

Honor Award - Interior Architecture, Honor Award - Interior Architecture, Honor Award - Interior Architecture

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In 1956, General Motors (GM) opened its lauded Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, designed by Eero Saarinen. SmithGroupJJR, then named Smith Hinchman & Grylls, served as architect of record.  Much attention was placed on the spaces concerned with designing, prototyping and evaluating new automobile styles, and a large indoor viewing auditorium was constructed to enable the automotive designers the opportunity to view their designs in an open space, regardless of weather.

General Motors, seeking to enhance the relevance of this landmark as an evaluation and presentation center for critiquing, presenting and displaying the next generation of automotive product design, initiated the renovation of the design auditorium.  The overall design intent was to modernize the facility in a manner consistent with the original Saarinen detailing.  New functions, technologies and interventions were seamlessly incorporated into the structure to re-establish this significant space for General Motors design explorations.

As a result of the modernization, the design auditorium is once again center stage for the next generation of GM products.