Detroit’s Motown Museum Releases Flyover Video of Campus Expansion Design

For the first time, the Motown Museum in Detroit released a flyover video of its vision for what its campus will look like when its $50 million expansion is complete.
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Motown Museum flyover video image
The Motown Museum has released a flyover video of what its campus is expected to look like after its $50 million expansion is complete. // Image courtesy of the Motown Museum

For the first time, the Motown Museum in Detroit released a flyover video of its vision for what its campus will look like when its $50 million expansion is complete.

Ground was broken in September on the 50,000-square-foot entertainment and education tourist destination, and the project will be completed by 2023 if all funding goals are reached.

The flyover 3-D rendering footage brings viewers down West Grand Boulevard with a close look at how the new structure will connect with the existing museum and its iconic Hitsville USA house.

The bird’s-eye view of the project, combined with the action and animation of the footage showing museum visitors moving through an outdoor performance space, captures both the creativity of the design and the palpable energy surrounding the expanded facility, according to Robin Terry, chairwoman and CEO of the Motown Museum.

“It’s such a thrill for us to give the world this fresh visual of what our expanded campus will look like when construction is completed,” says Terry. “The dynamic format for this aerial flyover video means you can experience the project in a way that even the most detailed plans and renderings cannot — bringing the expansion to life in a way that makes you feel like you’re there. This preview also illustrates how the museum will offer unique programming, a collaborative space for the community to gather and one-of-a-kind experiences that no other institution can match.”

The late architect Phil Freelon, formerly a design director at global architecture firm Perkins and Will, led the original architectural design of the expansion. Freelon worked on the design of almost every major museum or public space dedicated to black culture in the United States. The Motown Museum expansion was the final museum project of his career.

Following in Freelon’s footsteps, a team of architects and other creative experts are working collaboratively to refine the final design of the expanded space and the experiential elements that will engage future museum guests.

“Motown introduced a brilliant collection of voices and stories across racial, generational, and cultural lines,” says Zena Howard, a managing director at Perkins and Will, and a close friend and colleague of Freelon. “The expansion of Motown Museum will carry these voices even further.”

Howard will continue to lead the project in collaboration with Rainy Hamilton Jr., president of Detroit-based Hamilton Anderson Associates, a multi-disciplinary design firm specializing in environmentally conducive creative and contemporary design. Hamilton Anderson Associates created the flyover video. Detroit-based contractor, L.S. Brinker Co., serves as the construction manager of the project.

The museum reached the halfway point of $25 million in fundraising in September. Recently, the museum received a $1 million grant from the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation.

Construction is planned as a four-phase project. Phase one, entitled Hitsville Next, will serve as the museum’s educational and creative hub designed to offer innovative education and community engagement programs. The programming made possible through Hitsville Next is designed to activate and inspire future generations of creatives, artists and entrepreneurs.

When complete, the expansion will feature dynamic, interactive exhibits, a performance theater, recording studios, an expanded retail experience, and meeting spaces. It is hoped the new museum campus will have a transformative impact on the surrounding Detroit neighborhoods, providing employment, sustainability, and community pride by serving as a catalyst for new investment and tourism in the area.

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