SHoP Architects Selected for Design of Iconic Site in Downtown Detroit

One of Detroit's most prominent vacant sites is slated to become one of its most iconic buildings. SHoP Architects will partner with Detroit-based Hamilton Anderson Associates to transform the site formerly occupied by Hudson's Department Store. Located at Grand River and Gratiot in the city's Central Business District, the two-acre site has remained a scar in the urban landscape since the implosion of the Hudson's building in 1998.

Hudson's Department Store was constructed in 1891 and witnessed Detroit's financial growth and economic downturn over the course of a century. At its apex, the building reached 25 stories and contained 2.2 million square feet. The developer, Rock Ventures, hosted an ideas competition earlier this year to generate interest in the site. The competition drew over 200 entries and welcomed submissions from the general public.

Hudson's Department Store, 1950 © Rock Ventures LLC

Dan Gilbert, the chairman and founder of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans, Inc., has gained notoriety in recent years as a leading investor in Detroit's urban and economic sectors. In 2010, he relocated the Quicken Loans headquarters to Detroit and has since purchased a number of the city's historic buildings. The headquarters is located directly adjacent to the former Hudson's site. Gilbert envisions the project as "a symbol of Detroit's past and present" and a feature of the "creative future of opportunities for Detroiters and visitors from around the world."

Aerial view of Detroit with former Hudson's site visible at left center. © Rock Ventures LLC

Kent Anderson, Principal at Hamilton Anderson, described the site as "the emotional and physical heart of downtown." "This project has the capacity to link disparate parts of downtown and become a catalyst for change and development beyond its immediate surroundings," he stated. Hamilton Anderson Associates designed the award-winning North Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and the Wayne State University Welcome Center.

SHoP Architects is behind several significant urban projects, including the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the Google Headquarters in Silicon Valley. The firm is currently working with Field Operations to develop the Williamsburg waterfront and historic Dominos Sugar Factory on New York City's East River.

SHoP and HAA will meet with local stakeholders over the next few weeks to develop initial programming and design concepts. The star-studded duo will hold a lecture series in early 2014 to engage Detroiters in the development process. 

For more information, see the project's press release.

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Cite: Rennie Jones. "SHoP Architects Selected for Design of Iconic Site in Downtown Detroit" 26 Nov 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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