Case Study: Cadillac Place

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project details

Client: State of Michigan
Project Start: 2018
Product Required: Bronze Clad Steel Door & Frame Assemblies
Client Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA


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About Project

Cadillac Place, A National Historic Landmark in Detroit, required the replacement of its original bronze doors with modern door and frame assemblies. Built in 1923, this iconic Neoclassical building was the second-largest office building globally at the time. AMBICO Limited was approached in 2017 to contribute its expertise to the project, ensuring compliance with current building codes while preserving the building’s aesthetic integrity. 

Our Client’s Challenge

The architects faced a dual challenge: ensuring the new doors met modern safety and usage codes while maintaining the original design. The technical challenges included working with bronze, a delicate material prone to markings and bending. Additionally, accessibility standards required widening the doors, modifying the revolving door rotundas, and integrating modern security glass. Preserving the historical character and materials of the building was another key consideration. 

Our Approach And Solution

AMBICO successfully tackled the challenges presented by the Cadillac Place project with their meticulous approach and deep expertise in heritage restoration. Overcoming obstacles such as working with delicate bronze cladding and maintaining the original jamb depth, their skilled fabricators employed innovative techniques to ensure perfection. They carefully designed and formed the bronze cladding for each door piece by piece, ensuring exceptional craftsmanship and durability. Integrating modern security glass into the panels, widening the doors for accessibility, and incorporating architectural hardware while preserving the building’s historic aesthetic were additional accomplishments. AMBICO’s commitment to honoring the history of Cadillac Place is evident in their attention to detail, matching the original bronze doors’ patina and achieving seamless design continuity.

Drawing on their extensive experience in complex heritage projects, AMBICO’s experts guided the architects throughout the process, sourcing materials and reaching design solutions that adhered to contemporary building codes. The new bronze door and frame assemblies at Cadillac Place now seamlessly blend modern functionality with the exterior appearance of the 1920s, paying homage to Detroit’s rich history while embracing a prosperous future. This successful restoration project showcases AMBICO’s unwavering dedication to craftsmanship, heritage preservation, and their ability to navigate the intricate challenges of such iconic endeavors.