Compuware:
A Brief Tour Inside & Out

 

Your staff at thedetroiter.com recently had the opportunity to get an insider's tour of One Campus Martius, the home of Detroit's newest resident, Compuware. Here's a brief look at what goes on inside (as well as a little bit of what's around the block).

Inside the entrance is an atrium that spans the height of the entire building. The spaciousness and openness provides the feeling of still being outdoors. This sense is added to by the presence of a water fountain composed of hanging, bright translucent materials suspended from the ceiling. The water cascades off these elements before pouring down a glass wall at the building's floor. Bamboo trees (in truth tree facsimiles) stand tall alongside one wall. Access to the retail spaces including Border's and the Hard Rock Café are here too, but more on them later.

Passing through security to the second floor, we come face to face with Compuware's cafeteria. This is a spacious eatery with a variety of choices, and multiple viewpoints for taking in downtown. This floor is also home to the daycare facility, a truly inviting place which also features an outdoor, sculpted, second floor play area. The daycare may be one of the most valuable services a company can provide for its employees. For a parent to be able to be at work, and have his/her child cared for just a few seconds away must bring great peace of mind. The building has a medical center for employees to conveniently take care of themselves as well.

Another floor up and we are in the fitness center. Complete with a winding track, a basketball/volleyball court, racquetball courts, free weights, bikes, treadmills, and much more, almost every physical activity a person might want to partake in during his/her lunch hour is available. This goes behind the idea of a perk, and makes the fitness area likely a place where people who work together all day, get a chance to play together as well.

We've reached the fourth floor and from here on out it's all down to business. This doesn't, by the way, mean the space has become any less pleasant. From open, casual meeting areas to more private conference rooms the space seems designed to facilitate healthy interaction. Each of the floors looks out to both the atrium and the city outside. The cubicles are, well, cubicles, but with some interesting ergonomics and modularity. Their design combined with the openness of the building cuts down on the stereotypical office claustrophobia. Compuware has also gone to some lengths to acquire art by local artists to enhance each floor and expose their workers to different cultural experiences.

Compuware made a great commitment to Detroit in moving downtown. It is evident from spending some time in this building that everyone involved in the design of the building, from the executives to the architects, see this as a home for the people who come to work there. It truly is its own self-contained community, capable of meeting most of a person's daily needs. The fact that the first floor and the atrium are open to any one adds to the environment of downtown. The building is thus not a fortress, but a welcome place for outsiders to meet. Borders, Hard Rock Café and the other venues to come (one of which has opened since our tour) provide attractions to bring Compuware employees out and bring other people in. Hopefully in making this building their home, the people that work here will venture out beyond its doors and make this entire city their home.

 

Postscript

The tour continued a bit (without a security badge at this point) into the Hard Rock Café and the Borders, both of which are accessible from the outside as well as the inside of Campus Martius. The newly restored Kern's Clock now resides at the northwest corner of the building. People have been meeting under this Detroit landmark since the Depression and while it no longer stands quite as high, it seems fitting to have it still standing tall.

To the northeast of Campus Martius lies the reopened downtown library or Skillman Branch as it is now known. This houses both a significant children's collection, popular Fiction, reference and nonfiction, a host of computers for Internet access, as well as the national automotive history collection. It is a grand old space made inviting and a vibrant place to learn. A host of computers are ready for internet access. Still further north is the always pleasant to be in Café de Troit. Owner Lee Padgett has really made her establishment an important element of the community.

Altogether this little corner of the city makes for a fine place to meet a friend for the afternoon. The atrium or the Kern's Clock provide an excellent place to start out from, before going on to buy books, eat a rock 'n' roll veggie burger, spend some time at the library, and slow down with something warm to drink. - Nick Sousanis

Much thanks to Ken Davenport of Compuware (and of the downtownrunners and walkers) for the tour and his always generous hospitality.

 

 

 

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