Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

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A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
at the University of Michigan
Art & Architecture Building University of Michigan Ann Arbor Michigan.JPG
Parent institution
University of Michigan
Endowment$80 million (2017)
DeanJonathan Massey
AdministrationGeoffrey Thün, Associate Dean for Research
McLain Clutter, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives
Sharon Haar, Chair, Architecture
Joseph Grengs, Chair, Planning
Academic staff
Students652 Total
162 B.S.Arch, 348 M.Arch, 76 M.U.P., 8 M.U.D., 15 M.Sc, 43 PhD
Location, ,
United States

The A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning (also Taubman College) at the University of Michigan offers the following degrees: Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Master of Architecture (ranked #1 in 2010 by DesignIntelligence.[1]), Master of Science in Architecture, Master of Urban Planning, Master of Urban Design, and PhD programs.

Formerly known as the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, the college was named after real estate developer and philanthropist A. Alfred Taubman when he donated $30 million to the college in May 1999. The gift was one of the largest in the history of the University of Michigan and the largest ever to a school of architecture.


In 1876, the University of Michigan became one of the first universities in the United States to offer courses in architecture, led by influential Chicago architect William Le Baron Jenney. After thirty years, a degree program within the Department of Engineering was established in 1906, under the direction of Emil Lorch, who served to administer the program and its ever-evolving iterations until 1937. Housed in what is now Lorch Hall on Central Campus, the program quickly grew into the Department of Architecture by 1913. In 1923, world-renowned architect Eliel Saarinen joined the faculty of the department, with which he was associated during his design, construction, and subsequent presidency of the Cranbrook Academy of Art. By 1930, the College of Architecture had been established and grew to become the College of Architecture and Design in 1939, introducing Landscape Architecture and, by 1948, one of the first Master of City Planning degrees. The 1940s also saw the college taking a progressive role with regards to architectural research, establishing the Architecture Research Laboratory that would pioneer the integration of design, construction, technology, planning and research. In 1965, the Landscape Architecture program moved to the university's School of Natural Resources.

In 1968, the college made history by establishing the first-ever doctoral program in architecture, fueled by a strong level of academic inquiry into the field.[citation needed]

In 1974, many positive changes took place in the college, including the separation of programs into the College of Architecture & Urban Planning and the School of Art & Design. During this same year, the programs outgrew their home on Central Campus and found a new home on North Campus, the Art and Architecture Building, in which both schools remain to this day.

Notable alumni[edit]

Köszönöm, a monument at Taubman College in honor of alumnus Raoul Wallenberg.

Notable current and former faculty[edit]



Taubman College's graduate and undergraduate programs in architecture are consistently among the most highly ranked. In its 2009 edition of "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools", the Design Futures Council journal DesignIntelligence ranked the Master of Architecture program 9th in the nation. For 2011, the program rose to 1st, overtaking the Harvard Graduate School of Design, which had held the spot since DI began ranking M.Arch programs individually in 2004.[1] In this survey, Taubman College's M.Arch program was also rated the 5th most admired by school deans, and fared well in the following skills areas:

  • 1st - Analysis and planning
  • 2nd - Communication
  • 3rd - Computer applications
  • 3rd - Construction methods and materials
  • 3rd - Design
  • 2nd - Research and theory
  • 2nd - Sustainable design practices and principles

The school's dramatic rise was attributed to recent administrative and curriculum changes that have focused on upending a centuries-old pedagogical model still taught at most schools. Changes have included making ancillary coursework more integral to design studio curriculum, and fostering hands-on research and development as permeating the discipline at all levels, from analysis, to design, to communication.[1]

Urban planning and design[edit]

The urban and regional planning program was ranked 9th in the nation in Planetizen's 2019 Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs.[2] The urban design program was recognized by New Urban News as the 4th best program in the nation for new urbanism.[3]


Taubman College is located on the University of Michigan's North Campus in the Art & Architecture Building (A&AB). This building houses the largest academic studio in the world, at 30,000 continuous square feet, for roughly 450 undergraduate and graduate architecture students and graduate urban design students.

On September 8, 2017, Taubman College opened the new A. Alfred Taubman Wing which provides an additional 36,000 square feet to the original 72,000 square foot facility, and the project includes a renovation of the existing college facilities. Architecture and urban planning education increasingly calls on spaces for group work and spaces to design and build. The wing and renovations provide additional studio space per student and collaboration rooms, as well as 5,700 square foot commons space which will also be used to host conferences, final reviews, and other special events. Designed by Preston Scott Cohen, Inc. (Design Architect) with Integrated Design Solutions (IDS) (Architect of Record), the building addition's internal architecture is composed around a series of remarkable spiral-like stairs and ramps that create perambulatory sequences carefully choreographed to create encounters between faculty and students. Externally, a saw-tooth roof reflects warm light, unifying the orthogonal geometry of the studio with the hexagonal and ramped commons. A plaza underneath the new building provides and outside gathering and exhibition space to foster community. The building addition and renovation project was funded by a major gift from the late A. Alfred Taubman, as well as a generous gift from the late King C. Stutzman, additional funds from the U-M Offices of the President, Provost, and Chief Financial Officer, and the support of alumni and friends. The total budget for the entire project (addition and renovation of existing facilities) is $28.5 million.

In fall 2009, the Taubman College completed a renovation of its Digital Fabrication Laboratory, or FABLab. The two-story space houses 7,000 sq ft (650 m2). of computer-controlled fabrication equipment. The list of machines includes a 30’x10’x8’ 7 axis robotic work cell, two additional robotic work cells, two 4’x8’ CNC routers, a 4’x8’ abrasive water jet cutting machine, a Zund knife cutter, and a CNC milling machine. These machines give students and faculty the capability to digitally fabricate using any material at full scale. In addition the FABLab operates three rapid prototyping machines, and four laser cutters. A fully outfitted woodworking and welding shop complements the FABLab. http://taubmancollege.umich.edu/fablab/

North Campus is also home to the College of Engineering, the School of Computer Science, the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design. Other pertinent facilities on North Campus include the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library (AAEL), the Digital Media Commons, the Bentley Historical Library, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Maya Lin's Wave Field.

Fellowships and visiting professorships[edit]

Taubman College offers a variety of faculty fellowships and visiting professorships. The visiting professorships are endowed in the name of Eliel Saarinen, Charles Moore, Max Fisher, and Colin Clipson, and have attracted the following notable individuals:


  1. ^ a b c James P. Cramer. "2011 America's Best Architecture Schools: Learning From America's Best Schools". Architectural Record. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
  2. ^ "Top Schools". Planetizen: The independent resource for people passionate about planning and related fields. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  3. ^ Robert Steuteville. "New Urbanism makes inroads – still out of academic mainstream". New Urban News. Retrieved 2010-02-24.

Coordinates: 42°16′58″N 83°44′5″W / 42.28278°N 83.73472°W / 42.28278; -83.73472