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DETROIT FRONT PORCH:

Manufactured Ecologies and a New Paradigm of Riverfront Resilience 2013 MASLA UNBUILT WORKS ENTRANT


detroit river

IT STARTS WITH THE RIVER: Manufactured Ecolgies and a New Paradigm of Riverfront of Resilience AS socio-cultural and economic paradigms

1

FUTURE “FRONT PORCH” RIVERFRONT

change, so to changes the physical infrastructure and built patterns of our cities. In Detroit, we have witnessed the change from prairie meadows with infinite horizons to a city on the verge of a new future. From its start as a fur trading post, through its initial settlement by the French and their distinct ‘long lot’ subdivisions of land; from a city of industry that lead the 20th century industrial revolution; to a community that is taking a new breath for a brighter tomorrow. This new breath starts by looking backwards through the lens of history- to recognize and celebrate its past- while projecting forward a new image based on a return to its river, a return to quality of life, and a return to a global international city. For this reason, the proposal “starts with the river”.


OUR visioning proposal commences with an understanding that the current site conditions reflect the physical legacy of pre-21st century social and cultural attitudes. A palimpsest of industrial legacy, the site is currently dominated by infrastructure and transit networks, of utility and function, of disconnections and unhealthy soil and water. The physical manifestation of these attitudes results in a marginal and underutilized and un-maintainable land-uses- ironically-found at the core of Detroit. What makes Detroit’s riverfront trajectory distinct is not only its creative people or its stunning riverfront setting, but a commitment to a resilient, healthy future. This future is one energized by a “return to the river”, a commitment to green live+work+play, and one of community prosperity.

We propose a paradigm shift, with a belief that for Detroit to achieve its goals it must look to year-round activities and imbue the riverfront with a multidimensional program that has: healthy land, water and energy; healthy social networks unbounded by time-honored family activities alongside recent and emerging trends in recreation; and finally, a community foundation as a place to celebrate the strong cultural diversity, prosperity and resilience of a global city of the 21st century. This paradigm shift is central to the Proboscis DETROIT visioning proposal.

DETROIT FRONT PORCH 1889 “FRONT PORCH” RIVERFRONT 2


3

CURRENT RIVERFRONT


CURRENT RIVERFRONT @ HART PLAZA 4


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vision IT STARTS WITH THE RIVER: Proboscis Detroit As socio-cultural and economic paradigms change, so to changes the physical infrastructure and built patterns of our cities. In Detroit, we have witnessed the change from prairie meadows with infinite horizons to a city on the verge of a new future. From its start as a fur trading post, through its initial settlement by the French and their distinct ‘long lot’ subdivisions of land; from a city of industry that lead the 20th century industrial revolution; to a community that is taking a new breath for a brighter tomorrow. This new breath starts by looking backwards through the lens of history- to recognize and celebrate its past- while projecting forward a new image based on a return to its river, a return to quality of life, and a return to a global international city. For this reason, the proposal “starts with the river”.

This vision begins with the Detroit River. It is the central element of the city. With a river stage that changes seasonally, the river hydrology becomes an asset to provide a dynamic urban “wild” exploration grounds. At the heart of the site, current river’s edge streets and parking garages that inhibit visual and physical access to the We propose a paradigm shift, with a belief that for Detroit to achieve its goals it must look to year-round activities and imbue water are removed parking is placed below the plaza. Spaces the riverfront with a multi-dimensional program that has: healthyand land, water and energy; healthy social networks unbounded by time-honored family activities alongside recent and emerging trends in recreation; and finally, a community foundation as a place to celebrate the strong prosperity and(or resilience of a global city of the 21st century. This paradigm thatcultural arediversity, perceived real) security and maintenance issues- such shift is central to the Proboscis DETROIT visioning proposal. as the existing amphitheaters and stairwells- are removed and This vision begins with the Detroit River. It is the central element of the city. With a river stage that changes seasonally, the river hydrology becomes an asset to provide a dynamic urban “wild” exploration grounds. At the heart of the site, current river’s edge their essential program relocated to more vibrant and accessible streets and parking garages that inhibit visual and physical access to the is water are removed and parking is placed below the plaza. Spaces that are perceived (or real) security and maintenance issues- such as the existing amphitheaters and stairwellslocations within Atop the plaza and atandthe edge of downare removed and their essential program is relocated to morethe vibrantsite. and accessible locations within the site. Atop the plaza at the edge of downtown, a “Garden of the Great Lakes” welcomes visitors to a new Hart Plaza anchored by existing sculptures. The plaza surface is activated by celebration spatial programming punctuated with water play “springs and fountains” and visitors to a new town, a “Garden of and the Great Lakes” welcomes spatially defined by pear tree allees, which also provide flanked space for resting form water play or for bocce and picnicking. Hart Plaza anchored by existing sculptures. The plaza surface is The riverbank is pulled back, serrated and reorganized into long strips (recalling the French long lots and their pear groves), revealing dramatic floodplain wetlands and forests, interconnected by canoe or floating boardwalks that recall a chloroplast activated by celebration spatial programming and punctuated with network of plant tissues and chemins (or paths). These areas are interconnected through a new esplanade that serves as an experiential cross-section through the water edge programming. Sprinkled within this network are opportunities for wildlife water play “springs and fountains” and spatially defined by pear watching, swimming, walking, fishing, kayaking and sunbathing. In the shallow water, floating peninsula provide space for sand volleyball, hockey, basketball, and performance of all manner. Culminating the proposal is the Proboscis, an elevated riverfront tree allees, which also provide flanked space for resting form water icon that provides grand views up and down the Detroit River while beckoning and welcoming the arrival of international visitors from the north. play or for bocce and picnicking. Our visioning proposal commences with an understanding that the current site conditions reflect the physical legacy of pre-21st century social and cultural attitudes. A palimpsest of industrial legacy, the site is currently dominated by infrastructure and transit networks, of utility and function, of disconnections and unhealthy soil and water. The physical manifestation of these attitudes results in a marginal and underutilized and un-maintainable land-uses- ironically-found at the core of Detroit. What makes Detroit’s riverfront trajectory distinct is not only its creative people or its stunning riverfront setting, but a commitment to a resilient, healthy future. This future is one energized by a “return to the river”, a commitment to green live+work+play, and one of community prosperity.

unitedstates

PROBOSCIS VIEWING PLATFORM

canada

B C

ts Sports Lo Riverfront

5

r t Theate Riverfron

Esplanade

nection Bridge Con Pedestrian

lanade za and Esp to Hart Pla tion Center from Conven

Esplanade

Stage

ar Tree Allee French Pe

and

ront Plaza GM Riverf

AERIAL PERSPECTIVE VIEWED FROM CANADA

DETROIT RIVER

A

al Beach Internation


detroit river esplanade/ long lots park/ viewing pier

riverfront theater and stage/ viewing pier

garden of the great lakes, hart plaza and french pear allee 60 50 40 30 20

underground railroad memorial

viewing pier and riverfront theater

10

existing sculpture

memory wall

0

-10

performance lawn

esplanade

promenade

20 -20

stage

-30

A

30 20

garden of the great lakes

hart plaza springs and fountains riverfront long lots park + chemin

existing sculpture

esplanade

10 0 -10

riparian wetlands and ecological bank

-20 -30

B

30 20

pavilion

pedestrian connection from hart plaza to convention center

troit m a proboscis viewing platform with 1840 Detroit map riverfront long lots park + chemin

esplanande

garden of the great lakes

10 promenade

sun lawn -10

garage

riparian wetlands and ecological bank

9339650

garage

elevator

-20

C reorganized into long strips The riverbank is pulled back, serrated and (recalling the French long lots and their pear groves), revealing dramatic floodplain wetlands and forests, interconnected by canoe or floating boardwalks that recall a chloroplast network of plant tissues and chemins (or paths). These areas are interconnected through a new esplaD nade that serves as an experiential cross-section through the water edge programming. Sprinkled within this network are opportunities for wildlife watching, swimming, walking, fishing, kayaking and sunbathing. In the shallow water, floating peninsula provide space for sand volleyball, hockey, basketball, and performance of all manner. Culminating the proposal is the Proboscis, an elevated riverfront icon that provides grand views up and down the Detroit River while beckoning and welcoming the arrival of E international visitors from the north. elevator

-30

elevator

40 30

french pear tree allee

riverfront forest

20 10

pedestrian connection from hart plaza to convention center

picnic + bocce

esplanade

picnic + bocce

picnic + bocce

river slough garden

garage garage

elevator

convention center

proboscis

PROBUSCIS LANDING

esplanade

0

-10

cobo hall

pedestrian connection from hart plaza to convention center

-20

elevator

-30

RIVERFRONT VIEW FROM ELEVATED PROBOSCIS PLATFORM ABOVE DETROIT RIVER 6


long lots park and riparian chemin

7

CONSTRUCTED RIPARIAN ECOLOGICAL SHREDS


DETAIL OF WETLAND SHRED AND MESH SUB-STRUCTURE 6


detroit river esplanade/ long lots park/ viewing pier

riverfront theater and stage/ viewing pier

garden of the great lakes, hart plaza and french pear allee

riverfront theater and stage/ viewing pier 60 50 40 30 20

underground railroad memorial

viewing pier and riverfront theater

10

existing sculpture

memory wall

0

-10

performance lawn

esplanade

promenade

20 -20

stage

-30

A

30 20

hart plaza springs and fountains riverfront long lots park + chemin

7

esplanade

PIER, AMPHITHEATER SHRED ON MOVIE NIGHT, LOOKING TOWARDS CANADA riparian wetlands and ecological bank

garden of the great lakes

existing sculpture

10 0 -10 -20 -30

B


garden of the great lakes, hart plaza and frenc

DETAIL OF AMPHITHEATER SHRED AND MESH SUBSTRUCTURE 8 memory wall

existing sculpture


riverfront long lots park + chemin riverfront long lots park + chemin

esplanande

esplanade

riverfront theater stage/ riparianand wetlands andviewing ecologicalpier bank

sun la

garden of the great lakes, hart plaza and french pear allee

riparian wetlands and ecological bank

60 50 40 30 20

underground railroad memorial

viewing pier and riverfront theater

10

existing sculpture

memory wall

0

-10

performance lawn

esplanade

promenade

20 -20

stage

-30

A

30 20

garden of the great lakes

hart plaza springs and fountains riverfront long lots park + chemin

riverfront forest

existing sculpture

esplanade

10 0

pedestria connectio to conven B -10

garden of the great lakes, hart plaza and french pear all

riparian wetlands and ecological bank

-20 -30

riverfront long lots park + chemin riverfront long lots park + chemin

riparian wetlands and ecological bank

esplanande

pedestrian connection from hart plaza to convention center

esplanande

sun lawn

river slough garden

sun lawn

30

esplanade 20

pavilion

garden of the great lakes

10 promenade -10

garage

riparian wetlands and ecological bank

garage

elevator

-20 elevator

-30

elevator

C

40 30

french pear tree allee riverfront forest

20 10

pedestrian connection from hart plaza to convention center

picnic + bocce

picnic + bocce

picnic + bocce

esplanade

9

river slough garden

PERFORMANCE PLAZA + PAVILION AND GARDEN OF THE GREAT LAKES

memory wall

0 -10

elevator

garage garage

-20

existing sculpture

elevator

-30

D 0


awn

pavilion

pedestrian connection from hart plaza to convention center

garden of

hart plaza springs and fountains

an on from hart plaza ntion center

garage garage

elevator

elevator

french pear tree allee

pavilion

pedestrian connection from hart plaza to convention center

elevator

garden of t

picnic + bocce

elevator

picnic + bocce

garage

garage

garage

garageelevator

SECTION DETAIL OF NEW HART PLAZA AND PEAR TREE ALLEE 10


riverfront theater and stage/ viewing pier

underground railroad memorial

viewing pier and riverfront theater

esplanade stage

detroit river esplanade/ long lot riverfront long lots park + chemin

esplanade

riparian wetlands and ecological bank

11 VIEW OF SHREDS AND PLAZA FROM PIER

pedes conne


garden of the great lakes, hart plaza and french pear allee 60 50 40 30 20 10

existing sculpture

memory wall

0

promenade -10

performance lawn

20 -20 -30

A

30 20

garden of the great lakes

hart plaza springs and fountains

strian ection from hart plaza

existing sculpture

10 0 -10 -20 -30

B

30 20 12 DETAIL OF ESPLANADE PASSAGE UNDER (LEFT) AND OVER (RIGHT) WETLAND SHRED SUBSTRUCTURE

pavilion

garden of the great lakes

10


UNITED STATES

CANADA

13 iNTERNATIONAL OVERLOOK PLATFORM PROVIDES ELEVATED VIEWS ABOVE DETROIT RIVER


RIPARIAN SHRED PROGRAM VARIATIONS 14


Detroit Front Porch RIverfront Proposal