General Motors Design Dome Renovation

Roncelli was selected to perform the Design-Build renovation and restoration of the Design Dome, a historic building designed in 1948 by legendary architects Eliel and Eero Saarinen. The Saarinen’s vision was that architecture had to reflect the qualities of the company’s products, as the building was often used to unveil concept automobiles, dream cars and significant new vehicle launches.

Roncelli selected the SmithGroupJJR to serve as its Design-Build A/E of record to work collaboratively with the team to complete the architectural and engineering design consistent with Roncelli’s contract scope of work. The project consisted of the complete demolition of mechanical and electrical systems and the installation of state-of-the-art heating, cooling, ventilation, audio visual technology and sophisticated lighting systems, complete with customized motorized controls and concert quality illumination technologies.

For optimal sound functionality, the project included a BASWAphon seamless sound absorbing plaster system and renovations to the Boardroom that included an EVI touch-panel control system and compound curve Corian® solid surface control panel. Roncelli also installed access platforms within the Dome’s historic attic space and included newly installed speaker arrays and high definition projectors. African Teak Wood finishes were installed within select renovated and restored areas to match existing architectural finishes.

The outer dome is 65 feet high with a span of 188 feet and is covered with an aluminum skin three eighths of an inch thick. The Design Dome can be used as an auditorium to seat 1,000 people or as an exhibition hall with a high tech newly installed Boardroom.

Project Location:

Tech Center
Warren, Michigan


30,00 SF Renovation


Design, Research and Development, Engineering and Manufacturing


General Motors Corporation
Warren, MI


SmithGroup JJR, Detroit, MI