This submission represents our intention to unite two significant public spaces within downtown Detroit through a visual intervention and a physical strategy. The current urban plan offers immense potential for Campus Martius and Hart Plaza to be stitched together through one vision which brings the local community and residents, local businesses and visitors to enjoy a central active civic space.
The visual intervention is an optical sculpture which is constructed from mirrors that individually pivot to reflect activity of either square back to one another. This sculpture is placed in the Detroit River and is curved in plan and section with the Michigan Soldiers and Sailors Monument at the centre of its radius. Designed to tower over Hart Plaza, this optical sculpture will be seen from every corner of downtown and designed to be a new riverfront landmark offering new Detroit views and visuals of live events both within and outside Detroit. This sculpture is a representation of unity and the promotion of a new Detroit focus.
The physical strategy is a new masterplan which relies on lowering Woodrow Avenue in in between both public squares and lowering Jefferson Avenue in between The Renaissance Centre and Cobo Hall to pedestrianize the Detroit downtown and connect civic activity to the riverfront. By creating functional civic threads which weave in between Campus Martius and Hart Plaza at the riverfront, the Detroit community can inhabit their downtown which would play host to events throughout the entire year. The masterplan is divided into five main uses. A green thread from Campus Martius to the riverfront used as a giant public grass land for summer retreats, autumn and spring horticultural exhibitions and winter snow sledging. A grey thread running down Woodrow Avenue used throughout the year as a large public Market Promenade which is terminated by stepped seating at the riverfront for spectators of live music events or live visual entertainment. A Brown thread running along Griswold Street is used throughout the year as a fashion shopping boulevard which terminates at the Cobo Hall Civic Plaza. A Yellow thread which ties the riverfront boardwalk with the Market Promenade and Cobo Hall Civic Plaza is used as a skateboarding and rollerblading park for exhibitions and youth skating classes and demonstrations. A blue thread which links the Detroit River to Campus Martius is used for swimming in the summer and ice skating in the winter.
This submission places communities and visitors at the centre of Detroit to create an environment with energy, activity, entertainment, a sense of place and a strong Downtown FOCUS.