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Detroit

True North / EC3

13:00 - 20 January, 2018
True North / EC3, © Chris Miele
© Chris Miele

© Chris Miele © Chris Miele © Jason Keen © Jason Keen + 32

  • Architects

    EC3
  • Location

    Detroit, MI, United States
  • Lead Architects

    EC3 - Edwin Chan, Design Architect / Studio Detroit - Architect of Record
  • Design Architect

    EC3, Los Angeles
  • Architect of Record

    Studio Detroit
  • Area

    7530.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2017
  • Photographs

Spotlight: Minoru Yamasaki

06:00 - 1 December, 2017
World Trade Center / Minoru Yamasaki Associates + Emery Roth & Sons. Image <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Twin_Towers-NYC.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a>. Part of the Carol M Highsmith Archive donated to the Library of Congress and placed in the public domain
World Trade Center / Minoru Yamasaki Associates + Emery Roth & Sons. Image via Wikimedia. Part of the Carol M Highsmith Archive donated to the Library of Congress and placed in the public domain

Minoru Yamasaki (December 1, 1912 – February 7, 1986) has the uncommon distinction of being most well known for how his buildings were destroyed. His twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York collapsed in the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, and his Pruitt-Igoe complex in St. Louis, Missouri, demolished less than 20 years after its completion, came to symbolize the failure of public housing and urban renewal in the United States. But beyond those infamous cases, Yamasaki enjoyed a long and prolific career, and was considered one of the masters of “New Formalism,” infusing modern buildings with classical proportions and sumptuous materials.

The Architect as Educator: Remembering Gunnar Birkerts

10:30 - 23 November, 2017

Gunnar Birkerts, Latvian-born architect and educator, passed away on August 15, 2017, at the age of 92. A passionate advocate of a creative process he called "organic synthesis," he leaves behind dozens of built works over three continents and influenced hundreds of architectural students and colleagues through his inquiry-based process and dynamic interactions. Eric Hill and John Gallagher, in their AIA Guide to Detroit, said of Birkerts’ architecture:

Each of his works seems to be approached as an opportunity to explore the essence of an architectural problem, resulting in a statement that often exceeds the immediate project.

Gunnar Birkerts in an undated photo. Image via The Republic Corning Fire Station, New York. Image© <a href=“https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brikerts_Corning_Fire_Station.jpg”>Unknown Wikimedia Author</a> licensed under <a href=“https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/“>CC BY 3.0</a> The Latvian National Library (2014). © <a href=“https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Riga_Petrikirche_Blick_vom_Turm_zur_Nationalbibliothek.JPG”>Wikimedia user Zairon</a> licensed under <a href=“https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/“>CC BY 4.0</a>. Image Courtesy of Wikimedia User Zairon ederal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, 1973, (now: Marquette Plaza), in its original configuration.. ImageVia <a href=“https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Marquette_Plaza.jpg”>Wikimedia Commons / Historic American Buildings Survey</a> licensed under <a href=“https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en“>CC0 1.0 (Public Domain)</a> + 4

Architectural Adventures: Detroit—Motor City’s Architectural Revival

15:44 - 16 November, 2017
Architectural Adventures: Detroit—Motor City’s Architectural Revival, WSU McGregor Memorial Conference Center | courtesy of Jeff Dunn
WSU McGregor Memorial Conference Center | courtesy of Jeff Dunn

For most of the 20th century, Detroit was our nation’s economic dynamo. This heritage is reflected in the treasure trove of outstanding historic homes, buildings, and factories that still define the cityscape. While Detroit has struggled into the 21st century, its role as a center for architectural innovation is undiminished. With stunning early 20th-century mansions, grand Art Deco skyscrapers, and surprising mid-century masterpieces, the Motor City has more to offer than most realize. Explore the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Lafayette Park, Eastern Market, private homes, and special projects by local preservation organizations. Learn about how Detroit is rebounding while experiencing the innovative and seminal works of great architects like Eliel Saarinen, Daniel Burnham, Cass Gilbert, John Burgee, Albert Kahn, Minoru Yamasaki, and Mies van der Rohe along the way.

The Renaissance City: 3 Architectural Initiatives Point the Way Forward For Detroit

Sponsored Article
The Renaissance City: 3 Architectural Initiatives Point the Way Forward For Detroit, Structural prototype by the makeLab™at LTU. Image courtesy of LTU
Structural prototype by the makeLab™at LTU. Image courtesy of LTU

Detroit is a long-standing symbol of innovation in America, especially in the production of automobiles, music, and, at one point in history, airplanes. It has, correspondingly, been called the Motor City, Motown, and the Cradle of Democracy. Over the last half-century, racial tension, urban migration, and disinvestment have shifted the city’s identity, causing it to become a symbol of post-industrial America and the attendant urban deterioration. Together, these elements render Detroit’s more recent nickname—the Renaissance City—tragically ironic.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Unveil Landmark Mixed-Use Development for Downtown Detroit

13:01 - 28 August, 2017
Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Unveil Landmark Mixed-Use Development for Downtown Detroit, Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has unveiled the design of their first-ever project in the United States: the Monroe Blocks, a new mixed-use development that will become an iconic symbol of the rejuvenation and future development of downtown Detroit. Prioritizing public access both indoors and out, SHL’s scheme will consist of Detroit’s first new highrise office tower in decades, more than 480 residential units and a network of new public plazas and green spaces.

Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects + 20

8 Extraordinary Examples of Abandoned Architecture

09:30 - 26 June, 2017
© <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buzludzha_Monument_Auditorium.jpg'>Wikimedia user Stanislav Traykov</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>
© Wikimedia user Stanislav Traykov licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Throughout history shifting economies, disasters, regime changes, and utter incompetence have all caused the evacuation of impressive architectural structures. From the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine that rendered a region of the then-Soviet Union uninhabitable, to the decline in public transport that saw a number of US train stations becoming superfluous, the history of architectural abandonment touches all cultures. And, without regular maintenance, structures deteriorate, leaving behind no more than awe-inspiring ghosts of the past to fuel the ever-growing internet trend for "ruin porn." Below are 8 abandoned buildings slowly being reclaimed by nature:

© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/kntrty/3720075234/>Flickr user kntrty</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY-2.0</a> © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Redsandsforts.jpg'>Wikimedia user Russss</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buffalo_Central_Terminal_(4844255509).jpg'>Wikimedia user Bruce Fingerhood</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY-2.0</a> © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AMUSEMENT_PARK_AT_PRIPYAT_NEAR_THE_CHERNOBYL_PLANT_NOW_ABANDONED_UKRAINE_SEP_2013_(10006421786).jpg'>Wikimedia user calflier001</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY-2.0</a> + 9

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.

Metropolis Magazine Asks: Could Refugees "Save" America’s Rust Belt?

08:00 - 5 November, 2016
Metropolis Magazine Asks: Could Refugees "Save" America’s Rust Belt?, Detroit. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/vandermolen/16036412239/'>Flickr user vandermolen</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-NC 2.0</a>
Detroit. Image © Flickr user vandermolen licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The "Rust Belt," a region of north central United States, is well known as an area where once thriving industrial cities have declined in economic health and population. As a result, many of the region's cities have been subject to grand proposals that aim to fix these city's problems--but could such schemes also provide a way to intervene in other serious global issues? In a recent article, Metropolis Magazine’s Web Editor and former ArchDaily Managing Editor Vanessa Quirk argues that refugees could reinvigorate such cities, describing how refugees are “boosting American’s legacy cities,” but simultaneously “encountering resistance from residents.”

This Recreation of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre is Built with Shipping Containers

09:30 - 25 September, 2016
This Recreation of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre is Built with Shipping Containers, Globe by Michigan Station, Detroit. Image Courtesy of The Container Globe
Globe by Michigan Station, Detroit. Image Courtesy of The Container Globe

All the world’s a stage – quite literally so, in the case of the Container Globe, a proposal to reconstruct a version of Shakespeare’s famous Globe Theatre with shipping containers. Staying true to the design of the original Globe Theatre in London, the Container Globe sees repurposed containers come together in a familiar form, but in steel rather than wood. Founder Angus Vail hopes this change in building component will give the Container Globe both a "punk rock" element and international mobility, making it as mobile as the shipping containers that make up its structure.

Globe by the Brooklyn Bridge, New York. Image Courtesy of The Container Globe View of Stage from the Yard. Image Courtesy of The Container Globe View from Upper Seating Gallery. Image Courtesy of The Container Globe Globe in Waitangi Park, Wellington NZ. Image Courtesy of The Container Globe + 21

Pink Zoning Detroit

08:30 - 5 August, 2016
Pink Zoning Detroit, Cover image courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Cover image courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

The City of Detroit, in partnership with the Knight Foundation, seeks ambitious, multidisciplinary planning and design teams to reimagine Detroit’s commercial corridors and explore reforms to Detroit’s land use regulations.

Inspired by the principles of Lean Urbanism, the project involves modest research, design, and analysis services, spread over a six month period.

Successful teams will receive $19,000 to cover costs and travel.

Video: Speculative Detroit – The Architectural Imagination at the 2016 Venice Biennale

04:00 - 11 July, 2016

In this interview, presented in collaboration with PLANE—SITE, Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon—curators of the US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale—explain why the United States' contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale has brought together "visionary" American architectural practices to speculatively address the future of the city of Detroit. They argue that these projects have "far-reaching applications for cities around the world."

LOHA Unveils Plans for the Renovation of Detroit's African Bead Museum

08:00 - 20 May, 2016
LOHA Unveils Plans for the Renovation of Detroit's African Bead Museum, Courtesy of Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA)
Courtesy of Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA)

Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) has unveiled its plans for the renovation and master plan of the MBAD African Bead Museum, an arts and cultural complex in Detroit centered around African art.

Located on a major boulevard in a series of townhouses, the Museum is currently in a state of disrepair with the roof on its corner building having collapsed. This main corner building, although heavily damaged, still features wall murals by artist Olayami Dabls, and thus needs to be preserved.

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.

Complex Problems for Architectural Imaginations: BairBalliet at the U.S. Pavilion

14:00 - 14 May, 2016
Courtesy of BairBalliet
Courtesy of BairBalliet

Kristy Balliet, Assistant Professor at the Knowlton School of Architecture, is the Columbus-based half of BairBalliet, who will be presenting their work as part of the Pavilion of the United States at this year’s Venice Biennale. Her research focuses on the exploration of volume as an architectural medium. Balliet's interest in the city of Detroit began long ago. Related to her interest in contemporary forms of volume, her research started to reimagine the typology of the architectural "midrise" (10-15 story building). Detroit, along with other Midwest cities, requires an innovative tactic for urban infill and associated embedded volumes. This topic has been explored within her own work and as a topic for research design studios at the Knowlton School of Architecture.

ROSSETTI Designs MLS Stadium and Mixed-Use Development for Detroit

08:00 - 6 May, 2016
ROSSETTI Designs MLS Stadium and Mixed-Use Development for Detroit, Courtesy of ROSSETTI
Courtesy of ROSSETTI

ROSSETTI has unveiled their design for a proposed development in downtown Detroit on the site of a currently unfinished jail. The project features a new MLS stadium with 20,000-25,000 seats, a training facility, a retail area, a parking structure for more than 5,000 cars, and four towers programmed for a hotel and residential and office spaces.