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Community, History and Art Collide in Illuminating Michigan Pavilion

08:00 - 26 May, 2017
Community, History and Art Collide in Illuminating Michigan Pavilion , Courtesy of Mohamed Elgendy
Courtesy of Mohamed Elgendy

Cairo-based architect Mohamed Elgendy has won an international competition for the design of a new community pavilion in Roseville, Michigan. The Pavilion at Utica Junction competition, organized by the Roseville DDA, sought to attract proposals for a public pavilion on the site of an old tavern, creating a gathering space for residents and visitors to stage events, socialize, and play. The vision behind Elgendy’s winning scheme was for a dialogue between three elements – a plaza, a ramp, and an indoor pavilion

Courtesy of Mohamed Elgendy Courtesy of Mohamed Elgendy Courtesy of Mohamed Elgendy Courtesy of Mohamed Elgendy +9

Looking back on Charles and Ray Eames’ De Pree House

14:00 - 16 April, 2017
Looking back on Charles and Ray Eames’ De Pree House, © Victor Delaqua
© Victor Delaqua

© Victor Delaqua © Victor Delaqua © Victor Delaqua © Victor Delaqua +7

The Eames are mainly known for their furniture and their house in Pacific Palisades, which they also used as an office. Few people are aware of the Max and Esther De Pree House, a rare venture into residential architecture by the Eames.

SOM's Inclusive Riverfront Set to Revitalise Detroit

14:00 - 5 March, 2017
SOM's Inclusive Riverfront Set to Revitalise Detroit, The Historic Stone Soap Building will be upgraded to a mixed-use development, increasing density and activity along the riverfront. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit
The Historic Stone Soap Building will be upgraded to a mixed-use development, increasing density and activity along the riverfront. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit

Chicago-based SOM’s plans for the redevelopment of the East Riverfront in Detroit, Michigan have been unveiled. The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, and City of Detroit Planning and Development Department will work together to deliver SOM’s plan to revitalize the former blighted industrial area. The framework plan involves improving community access to the riverfront, the design of a new riverfront parkland, and the conversion of a historic riverfront structure into a mixed-use development.

An upgrade of the urban landscape along the Detroit River will begin in 2017. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit The Historic Stone Soap Building will be upgraded to a mixed-use development, increasing density and activity along the riverfront. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit Nearly eight acres of land will be devoted to open green space. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit Protected cycle paths will link the riverfront with neighbourhoods to the north. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit +5

SHoP Unveils Plans for Detroit’s Tallest Tower on Historic Downtown Site

11:20 - 24 February, 2017
© SHoP Architects PC
© SHoP Architects PC

For nearly 100 years, the JL Hudson's Department Store in downtown Detroit stood as a mecca of shopping – the 25-story structure at one point holding the record for world’s tallest retail building. Then in 1983, following a downturn of the Detroit economy, the department store was closed. Its implosion followed in 1998. In the years since, the important site has laid mainly vacant, save for an underground parking structure inserted into the store’s former underground retail levels. But now, plans have been revealed to return the site to its former glory.

Announced yesterday by Detroit-based development group Bedrock, the site is set to receive a brand new 1.2 million-square-foot development designed by SHoP Architects and consisting of a nine-story retail podium and a 52-story, 734-foot tower that would claim the title of Detroit’s tallest building.

© SHoP Architects PC © SHoP Architects PC © SHoP Architects PC © SHoP Architects PC +8

New Short Film Reveals the Lives of Residents in Mies van der Rohe's Lafayette Park

15:00 - 6 December, 2016

In this video, filmmaker Ryan Clancy takes us inside Detroit’s Lafayette Park neighborhood, home to the world's largest collection of buildings designed by Mies van der Rohe.

Due to the redevelopment of Detroit and the surging popularity of mid-century design, home prices and cost of living in the neighborhood have dramatically increased in just 5 years time – leaving the community on the cupse of turnover. Seeing the need to document Lafayette Park before it changes for good, Clancy uses his camera to capture the diverse group of existing residents in their homes, highlighting their relationships to the timeless architecture.

Ennead Architects Makes Progress on New University of Michigan Biological Sciences Building

12:00 - 7 August, 2016
Ennead Architects Makes Progress on New University of Michigan Biological Sciences Building , Courtesy of Ennead Architects
Courtesy of Ennead Architects

Ennead Architects has recently celebrated the completion of the steel core of a new 295,000-square-foot Biological Sciences Building (BSB) and Museum of Natural History with a topping out ceremony at the University of Michigan. Due to open in 2018, the BSB will bring together the departments of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, the Research Museums of Paleontology and Zoology, and a re-envisioned Museum of Natural History. 

Richard Meier's Douglas House Added to National Register of Historic Places

10:20 - 12 July, 2016
Richard Meier's Douglas House Added to National Register of Historic Places, © James Haefner courtesy of Michigan State Historic Preservation Office
© James Haefner courtesy of Michigan State Historic Preservation Office

Today, one of Richard Meier’s most notable and acclaimed residences, the 1973 Douglas House, has been named to the National Register of Historic Places, the federal list of cultural resources worthy of preservation across the United States. The announcement comes after an extensive renovation to the property was completed in 2011, and will grant the home the legal status to help ensure the building is maintained for generations to come.

© James Haefner courtesy of Michigan State Historic Preservation Office © James Haefner courtesy of Michigan State Historic Preservation Office © Scott Frances/OTTO © James Haefner courtesy of Michigan State Historic Preservation Office +19

Curators Reveal Images for the US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

14:35 - 18 May, 2016
Curators Reveal Images for the US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

For this year’s US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, curators Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon have chosen twelve teams to speculate on possible architecture projects for four sites in Detroit, in an exhibition titled: The Architectural Imagination. After visiting Detroit last fall for site visits, community meeting, and discussions with faculty and students at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, the teams have now released images for their projects. The curators hope to generate creative and resourceful work to address the social and environmental issues of the 21st century.

“My Detroit” Postcards to be Displayed at US Exhibition at the 2016 Venice Biennale

12:00 - 6 March, 2016
“My Detroit” Postcards to be Displayed at US Exhibition at the 2016 Venice Biennale, Penobscot Block, 2015. Image © Ben Nowak, Oak Park, MI.
Penobscot Block, 2015. Image © Ben Nowak, Oak Park, MI.

Twenty postcards depicting Detroit have been selected for “My Detroit,” part of The Architectural Imagination,” the exhibition for the US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Selected from among 463 entries by curator Cynthia Davidson and sociologist Camilo José Vergara, the 20 winning postcards --- taken by 18 different individuals -- were selected as a group, for helping to tell the story of Detroit today. Ten of the 18 winners are Detroit-area residents.

House Fire, 2013. Image © Geoff George, Detroit, MI. Glimmers of the past (Michigan Theatre), 2010. Image © Harrell Scarcello, Southfield, MI. Belle Isle Aquarium, 2013. Image © Derek Chang, New York, NY. Belle Isle Bridge, 2012. Image © Salvador Rodriguez, Saint Clair Shores, MI. +20

5 Firms Selected to Build New Neighborhood in Detroit's Brush Park Area

14:00 - 16 December, 2015
5 Firms Selected to Build New Neighborhood in Detroit's Brush Park Area, Schematic rendering of the area. Image © Brush Park Detroit
Schematic rendering of the area. Image © Brush Park Detroit

Five US firms - Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA), Hamilton Anderson Associates (HAA), Merge Architects, Studio Dwell, and Christian Hurttienne Architects - have been commissioned to design a new walkable community in Detroit's historic Brush Park neighborhood. The project is being referred to as "Detroit's largest residential development in decades." It will include the construction of up to 400 new residential units, ranging in size from apartments to townhomes, and the renovation of four historic mansions, all within a dense four-block community that aims to be a "catalytic" development for the city.

Curatorial Team Selected for US Pavilion at 2016 Venice Biennale

08:00 - 28 August, 2015
Curatorial Team Selected for US Pavilion at 2016 Venice Biennale, The U.S. Pavilion from the 2014 Venice Biennale. Image © Nico Saieh
The U.S. Pavilion from the 2014 Venice Biennale. Image © Nico Saieh

After a selection process involving over 250 submissions, the curatorial team for the US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale has selected 12 teams of architects to produce the US exhibition: The Architectural Imagination. The Architectural Imagination will speculate possible architecture projects for four sites in Detroit with an eye for application internationally.

This fall, the teams will travel to Detroit for site visits and community meetings, as well as to meet with faculty and students at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Curators Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon hope to have selected a team that produces creative and resourceful work to address the social and environmental issues of the 21st century.

See all of the selected teams after the break.

Mies van der Rohe's Lafayette Park Named National Historic Landmark

16:16 - 6 August, 2015
Mies van der Rohe's Lafayette Park Named National Historic Landmark, AD Classics: Lafayette Park / Mies van der Rohe. Image © Jamie Schafer
AD Classics: Lafayette Park / Mies van der Rohe. Image © Jamie Schafer

One of the first and most successful examples of urban renewal, Detroit's 78-acre Lafayette Park is known for being the world's largest collection of works by Mies van der Rohe. Now, the mid-century modern "masterpiece" is the first urban renewal project to be declared a National Historic Landmark. This is partially due to the fact that, as Ruth Mills, architectural historian for Quinn Evans Architects told the Detroit Free Press, "Lafayette Park was one of the few urban renewal projects that's done it successfully." It is now Michigan's 41st landmark.

Dichotomy Journal Plays the Odds: Open Call for Submissions on Taking Architectural Risks

00:00 - 15 November, 2014
Dichotomy Journal Plays the Odds: Open Call for Submissions on Taking Architectural Risks, The 'Gherkin' in London (background) and the Lloyd's Building (foreground) redefined the skyline through their unorthodox designs. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>. Image © Flickr CC User duncanh1
The 'Gherkin' in London (background) and the Lloyd's Building (foreground) redefined the skyline through their unorthodox designs. Used under Creative Commons. Image © Flickr CC User duncanh1

University of Detroit Mercy's Dichotomy Journal has issued an open call for submissions to its 21st edition on the theme of "Odds," inviting discussion on projects that "defy the status quo and aim for greater fortune." Risk takers rejoice: Dichotomy 21 will shine a spotlight on architectural anomalies and the "implications of defying the odds and embracing the strange." The journal aims to stimulate a new discourse on extraordinary and unconventional designs that push the architectural envelope. Submissions are invited to discuss ideas defying the odds in design, architecture, urbanism and community development.

Invisible Solar Harvesting Technology Becomes Reality

00:00 - 25 August, 2014
Invisible Solar Harvesting Technology Becomes Reality, Solar power with a view: MSU doctoral student Yimu Zhao holds up a transparent luminescent solar concentrator module. Image © Yimu Zhao
Solar power with a view: MSU doctoral student Yimu Zhao holds up a transparent luminescent solar concentrator module. Image © Yimu Zhao

Solar harvesting systems don’t need to be glaringly obvious. In fact, now they can even be invisible, thanks to researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) who have developed a transparent luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) that can be applied to windows or anything else with a clear surface.

LSC technology is nothing new, but the transparent aspect is. Previous attempts yielded inefficient results with brightly colored materials, and as researcher Richard Lunt, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at MSU, puts it, “No one wants to sit behind colored glass.” To learn how Lunt and the rest of the research team achieved transparency, keep reading after the break. 

Preston Scott Cohen + Integrated Design Solutions to Expand UM Architecture Building

00:00 - 19 March, 2014
Preston Scott Cohen + Integrated Design Solutions to Expand UM Architecture Building, University of Michigan Museum of Art / Allied Works Architecture with Integrated Design Solutions (Click image for more). Image © Jeremy Bittermann
University of Michigan Museum of Art / Allied Works Architecture with Integrated Design Solutions (Click image for more). Image © Jeremy Bittermann

The University of Michigan (UM) has commissioned Preston Scott Cohen and Integrated Design Solutions to design a $28 million expansion for its 40-year-old design building. Primarily planned to be used by the school’s architecture program, the new addition will include classrooms, studios and offices, as well as the renovation of existing studios. The news comes five years after schematic designs for the original expansion were abandoned. More information, here

Exhibition: Lebbeus Woods, Architect

00:00 - 31 October, 2013
Exhibition: Lebbeus Woods, Architect, Lebbeus Woods, San Francisco Project: Inhabiting the Quake, Quake City, 1995; graphite and pastel on paper; 14 1/2 in. x 23 in. x 3/4 in. (36.83 cm x 58.42 cm x 1.91 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Estate of Lebbeus Woods
Lebbeus Woods, San Francisco Project: Inhabiting the Quake, Quake City, 1995; graphite and pastel on paper; 14 1/2 in. x 23 in. x 3/4 in. (36.83 cm x 58.42 cm x 1.91 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Estate of Lebbeus Woods

From November 22 through March 2, 2014, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University presents Lebbeus Woods, Architect, bringing together over 100 works from the past 35 years by one of the most influential architects working in the field. Recognized beyond architecture, Lebbeus Woods (1940–2012), who was born in Lansing, Michigan, has been hailed by leading designers, filmmakers, writers, and artists alike as a significant voice in recent decades. Notably, Zaha Hadid, architect of the Broad’s newly inaugurated building, cities Woods as a key influence.

'Redesigning Detroit: A New Vision for an Iconic Site' Competition Entry / Various Architects

01:00 - 16 June, 2013
'Redesigning Detroit: A New Vision for an Iconic Site' Competition Entry / Various Architects, Courtesy of Chung Whan Park, Terry Park, Jeong Jun Song, Hyuntek Yoon, Kyung Jae Yu
Courtesy of Chung Whan Park, Terry Park, Jeong Jun Song, Hyuntek Yoon, Kyung Jae Yu

The mission in the proposal, titled ‘The Grand Opening,’ for the Redesigning Detroit: A New Vision for an Iconic Site competition is to create a vision for a 24/7 timeless, vibrant and walk-able urban neighborhood in downtown Detroit with a catalytic impact on the retail activities of Woodward Avenue Corridor.  Designed by Chung Whan Park, Terry Park, Jeong Jun Song, Hyuntek Yoon and Kyung Jae Yu, The Grand Opening will connect the different contexts of the existing urban settings and bring every hour of excitement, crowd and memorable identity to the street life of downtown Detroit. More images and architects’ description after the break.

An Opportunity for Revitalization in Detroit

00:00 - 15 May, 2013
An Opportunity for Revitalization in Detroit, Detroit, Michigan; Courtesy of Flickr User DandeLuca, licensed via <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>
Detroit, Michigan; Courtesy of Flickr User DandeLuca, licensed via Creative Commons

Young entrepreneurs gravitate to places where they can become the founders of a revitalized culture; where land is cheap and available and innovation is uninhibited by a status quo.  Detroit, Michigan has become one of those places. The media gives us a portrayal of a wasteland, a post apocalyptic landscape of dilapidated homes and infrastructure. But there is plenty opportunity for start-ups to redefine Detroit's future. That it why young innovators and risk-takers are needed to bring new energy and awaken new markets within the city.  A recent article by Chuck Salter for Fast Company identifies six entrepreneurs who have started businesses in Detroit.  They vary from grassroots campaigns to inform people of opportunities within the city to small scale enterprises that bring retail and infrastructure to the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods.

More after the break.