Architects: FTL Design Engineering Studio
Location: Detroit, USA
Project Architect: Parson Brikerhoff, MI
Project area: 4,645 sqm
Budget: $22.5 Million USD
Project year: 2009
Fabric: PTFE glass
FTL created a single sustainable skin to define space, washed with day lighting and harvesting rain water. Transcending infrastructure to sculpture.
The new Rosa Parks Transit Center includes a passenger terminal and roof canopy covering a drop off and outdoor waiting area which will play a pivotal role in providing alternate means of public transportation to the greater Detroit area. The project brief was simple: a permanent roof structure, to withstand harsh weathers, durable, easy to maintain, inexpensive and unique.
The architect, Parson Brinkerhoff, MI, a pioneer in transportation facilities, invited FTL Design and Engineering Studio to be part of their team to develop an “elegant and contemporary canopy”.
FTL developed a design approach that uses flowing canopies to create an active visual space and naturally day light space which challenges the conventional notion of roof where the membrane both hovers 50 ft in space, and in other areas brought to ground and to act as a giant water collector. To create rhythm, the proposed scheme was broken down into seven repetitive bays, each approximately 110′ long and 50 ft wide. Each bay is comprised of two trusses, an A frame and fabric which is pulled down, transforming the roof into a wall and encompassing a courtyard.