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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Competitions
  3. Nadau Lavergne Architects Present Proposal to Revitalize Detroit's Decaying Packard Plant

Nadau Lavergne Architects Present Proposal to Revitalize Detroit's Decaying Packard Plant

Nadau Lavergne Architects Present Proposal to Revitalize Detroit's Decaying Packard Plant
Nadau Lavergne Architects Present Proposal to Revitalize Detroit's Decaying Packard Plant, Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects
Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects

Nadau Lavergne Architects, the winning team of the Reanimate the Ruins international ideas contest, have shared with us their proposal to revive Detroit's historic Packard Automotive Plant, the former factory which has become an icon of the city's post-industrial decline. By developing a proposal which frees the land from unwanted structures and knits the colossal 1 kilometer-long building back into the urban landscape, Nadau Lavergne Architects have created a design which returns both a sense of community and some economic hope back to the building.

Read more about the proposal after the break

Attracting people to the neighborhood and providing opportunity for further development. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects Overall view of the site. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects Opening up the site. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects Connecting elements of the site with public transport and reinvesting in the neighborhood. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects + 10

Overall view of the site. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects
Overall view of the site. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects
The site and its urban context. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects
The site and its urban context. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects

The Packard Automotive Plant was constructed between 1903 and 1911, when it was considered to be the most advanced car manufacture facility in the world. However, when the factory closed in 1958, the building went into a slow decline, first being used by a number of businesses for offices and storage, and ultimately being abandoned in the late 1990s.

Opening up the site. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects
Opening up the site. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects
Connecting elements of the site with public transport and reinvesting in the neighborhood. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects
Connecting elements of the site with public transport and reinvesting in the neighborhood. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects

Though the building is in a poor state of repair, its heavy reinforced concrete frame means it is still structurally viable. Nadau Lavergne Architects propose that much of the building can be kept, while other weaker structures in the vicinity should be demolished to open up the site. To further open the site, they propose strategic demolition at certain points along the building, splitting the oversized structure into blocks with a true urban character.

Attracting people to the neighborhood and providing opportunity for further development. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects
Attracting people to the neighborhood and providing opportunity for further development. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects

Once the extraneous buildings on the site are removed - and those few who still lived in them given financial incentive to occupy new flats in the re-purposed factory building - the land is free for a variety of community uses, including urban farming, sports grounds, a social center, a market and a new cultural center designed to complement the factory buildings. In addition, the largest building on the newly-formed blocks will be converted into a museum, with half of the museum's exhibition spaces dedicated to the site's rich automotive history.

Facade Detail. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects
Facade Detail. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects
Facade Detail. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects
Facade Detail. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects

Through these moves, an autonomous new community would form, with the potential and space to increase its complexity, adding services such as fire and police stations, health facilities, or its own district council. In addition, the renovated building and the urban grid within which it sits provide a repeatable typology which can be used to add more housing when needed.

The proposed new cultural center. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects
The proposed new cultural center. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects
Axonometric diagrams of the housing and the museum. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects
Axonometric diagrams of the housing and the museum. Image Courtesy of Nadau Lavergne Architects

For the full results of the competition, visit the Reanimate the Ruins competition website from competition organizers Parrallel Projections.

About this author
Rory Stott
Author
Cite: Rory Stott. "Nadau Lavergne Architects Present Proposal to Revitalize Detroit's Decaying Packard Plant" 11 Nov 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/566080/nadau-lavergne-architects-present-proposal-to-revitalize-detroit-s-decaying-packard-plant/> ISSN 0719-8884
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