DETROIT — A successor firm of famed architect Minoru Yamasaki is opening an office in Detroit, where the mid-century modernist had worked for more than 40 years.

Yamasaki Inc. officials plan to open its new office this month, the Detroit Free Press reported .

Yamasaki lived in Detroit from 1945 until his death in 1986. In 1950, he launched his own firm that survived him until 2009, when it closed due to financial problems.

Robert Szantner worked for Yamasaki starting in 1984, staying at the firm until its closing. He later bought the firm’s intellectual property and name out of receivership. Szantner operated the firm in Birmingham, Michigan, for several years before the deciding to move back to Detroit.

“I think we’re really interested in that kind of momentum that Detroit has now,” he said. “So we’re really excited about the resurgence of the city and want to be able to provide those services that we’re well-known for in other markets.”

Yamasaki has contributed dozens of buildings to greater Detroit, but is best remembered as the designer of the World Trade Center twin towers in New York that fell during the 9/11 terror attack. The project made him so well-known that he spent the latter half of his career designing skyscrapers and other global projects.

The new firm will employ about a dozen people, several of whom previously worked at the original firm.

“The things that Yama based his design philosophies on was really something that was formative for me and the other people that have had the opportunity to work with the firm,” Szantner said of the architect’s goal of creating serenity in each building. “We want to carry some of that on.”


Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com

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