Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago


Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Detroit Branch

Detroit, Michigan

240,000 GSF, 22300 M2

Architecture, Building Systems Consulting, Engineering, Environmental Science, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Lighting Design, Programming


Following 9/11, security became a major focus for groups developing architectural technologies and techniques. Marking the first building project in Federal Reserve Bank inventory to achieve all updated security requirements, the Detroit Branch benefits from the Fed's desire to incorporate developing technology—and from SmithGroupJJR's attention to balance security with a warm, inviting public image.

Revitalizing an area just outside downtown Detroit, the project employs a series of building elements to create a campus-like environment. Sophisticated surveillance and protective equipment cohere with agile workspaces to meet the bank's needs for safety, banking operations, and adaptability.

Image being equivalent to security, the design also harnesses a rich palette of materials and finishes—rusticated stone, precast concrete, metal and glass, among others—to set an inviting tone and blend into the existing neighborhood. Employee-focused, the design delivers a vibrant, attractive workplace featuring abundant daylight and a landscaped rooftop courtyard, as well as amenities such as food service and fitness equipment.