' New sources of revenue and community engagement with application of existing infrastructure'  

Detroit Idea Factory
Program of Innovation, Research, and Exploration
The "Detroit Idea Factory" is a conceptual collection of architectural, urban, and ecological interventions that inscribe into existing megastructures: Hart Plaza, Cobo Center, and the People Mover, as a network that drives innovation, research, and exploration. Together, they serve as a support system for the city’s visionaries. It offers the city’s creative capital, an integrated space to think, write, make and share.
The distribution of programmed structures offer spaces where the citizens of Detroit can forge a new future for their city. Ideals in the directness of connectivity lead program through all design elements. Interventions such as sport courts, food and community spaces, directly attach to the rail structure and punctuate the air-space of the ‘People Mover’ to reinvigorate the urban floor.
At Hart Plaza, infrastructural and visual connections principally drive the program vertically in contrast to the largely horizontal elements of Cobo Center and GM. The fundamentally public program is a collection of educational, fabrication and other creative silos that connect to Hart Plaza as a canopy over a series of outdoor community rooms including the new amphitheater on the waterfront.
Hart Plaza takes on a greater ecological function as a water treatment zone between the landscaped pathways and park space. This area collects, cleanses, and naturally treats surrounding city runoff. This landscape connects to the proposed residential and hotel development above the existing Cobo Center.
The ‘Detroit Idea Factory’ can be considered as phased interventions that can accommodate a schedule for economic momentum and partnerships. This vision for Detroit engages the creative economy by means of play, entrepreneurship and collaboration to advance the legacy of the Motor City.

PEOPLE MOVER                 
Pods of public program such as basketball courts, food vendors and skate park are suspended from the existing elevated rail structure.  This new network of interventions along the infrastructure air space could become new evolvable sources of community engagement and revenue.
ECOLOGY: The program for creative capital and the driver of economy, hovers over a proposed site that mixes ecology and landscape, with stormwater management and water filtration systems that integrate ground floor program of ‘public meeting rooms’ with site circulation.

VERTICAL: The proposal is in contrast to big horizontal program that occupies large expanses of valuable land in downtown Detroit. Taking the program vertically, gives an opportunity to give identity to Detroit’s waterfront via an iconic program that speaks of Detroit’s creative capital. Also, to promote city planning that reinforces denser mixed use strategies, with sustainable ideas of ecology for central Detroit.

PUBLIC CORE: The core is wrapped with a program of classrooms on all levels for various interest groups to teach and share with the community

FORM: The program is ‘twisted’ to respond to two directional block/grid systems of Detroit, a strategy which yields an iconic public space form at the waterfront, and also allows for generous views and natural daylight.

OPEN TO CITY: Every other floor opens up to the city for individuals to create and reflect with Detroit as a backdrop, reinforced by generous views and natural daylight.

CONNECTIONS: The program reinforces surrounding context, including connection to near Campus Martius Park where proposed future rail lines with service to greater Detroit and other major cities will occur.  A location with potential for a busy intermodal site that will drive development along Woodward Avenue. The ‘Idea Factory’ also connects to city functions in the Northeast corner and to our proposed future residential and hotel development on top of Cobo Center.

Related Projects