Downtown Detroit now finds itself enjoying a renaissance. We were asked to create a compelling vision for a new, urban development on the 92,421 square foot site of the former Hudson’s Department Store. We wanted to consider the historic significance of the site as well as its potential for the future as a catalyst for growth.
We did this in two ways: to look back we proposed including a digital repository (based on storeyy.com – an experimental site for citizens to share memories about places that mean something to them). This repository would allow a collective memory about the site that would be ever-changing and would capture the thoughts about the former use of the site as a department store.
The architectural proposal looked forward as a multi-use collection of different program elements that brought vitality and intense experimentation to the site. We wanted to intensify the life of the city onto one site by taking the main street and folding it back on itself to make up the primary structures on the site.
Uniting artists live/work housing, retail spaces at grade, several performance spaces, market housing, green space and a farmers market would bring together citizens of all walks of life to interact, share and create.