Marquette Building

Detroit, MI

Building Envelope Consulting, Historic Preservation, and Facade Design

Gensler retained WJE to assist the design team assembled by Gensler with building enclosure assessment and design. These services included a comprehensive condition assessment of the cladding system with restoration recommendations, design and engineering for the recreation of the historic ninth floor cantilevered terra cotta cornice, review of construction submittals, addressing technical inquiries during the bidding and construction period, and construction observation and quality control services during the restoration.


Constructed in the early 1900s, the ten-story Marquette Building utilizes an exterior wall cladding consisting of clay brick veneer, a limestone base course, multiple terra cotta accent bands, and a terra cotta parapet. Adient, a global automotive supplier, purchased the building and engaged Gensler to assemble a design team to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study along with full design services to rehabilitate the building to become Adient’s new world headquarters. The rehabilitation included adding an additional floor atop the building and restoring the exterior facade to recreate the historic conditions that existed in 1916.


WJE’s team conducted an extensive facade condition assessment, which included quantities and estimated costs for the restoration of the building enclosure to both recreate the conditions that once existed in 1916 and to suit the program needs for the new headquarters. During the design phase, WJE team members conducted multiple close-up inspections from a suspended scaffold, created various inspection openings, collected material samples, performed materials analyses in WJE’s Janney Technical Center laboratory, and collaborated with the greater Gensler team throughout the design process. As part of the restoration of the building enclosure, a large cantilevered cornice at the ninth floor was also designed and engineered by WJE.

In addition to serving as the technical facade consultant during the design phase, WJE provided quality assurance/quality control construction administration services during the construction period of the project, including responding to technical inquiries by the contractors performing the work, submittal reviews related to the facade work, and close-up construction observation and reporting.