redesigning detroit: a new landmark by rossetti + metrogramma
redesigning detroit: a new landmark by rossetti + metrogramma
aug 01, 2013

redesigning detroit: a new landmark by rossetti + metrogramma

the strong triangular form of ‘highwave detroit’ with its bold visual impact, has awarded international firm rossetti and their italian partner, metrogramma, third place in the ‘redesigning detroit competition’. the brief was to create a new urban development at the former site of the hudson’s department store in the city. the conceptual form is suggestive of a sail on a boat facing towards the river and is characterized by a rigorous net of shapes. the main traffic artery entering the city of detroit along woodward avenue is a large urban boulevard. the backbone of a major expansion to the city, the road consists of a mixture of functions: including residential typologies, institutions, entertainment centers, and parks.

redesigning detroit: a new landmark by rossetti + metrogramma
rendering showing an aerial view of the ‘highwave detroit’ proposal on the hudson site
all images courtesy of rossetti



the highwave detroit proposal programmatically offers entertainment and event venues, residential, retail and office spaces as well as a green public atrium at the peak of the triangle. the materials include glass and steel, well-suited for the urban location with its regional importance and physical scale. the sloping side offers views to downtown detroit and out to the river from the stacked terraces. all the public spaces face outwards with a new urban park located at the front. altogether the proposal is designed as a morphological, sustainable, economic answer for the city of detroit.

redesigning detroit: a new landmark by rossetti + metrogramma
a new iconic landmark for the city: ‘highwave detroit’

redesigning detroit: a new landmark by rossetti + metrogramma
rooftop green house

redesigning detroit: a new landmark by rossetti + metrogramma
rendering showing terraces + the public square

 redesigning detroit: a new landmark by rossetti + metrogramma
section drawing of the new icon



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • Ha ha that is funny where would the people come from?

    Gordon says:
  • some very interesting stuff going on here

    a shame that its for an officially bankrupt city

    dbkii says:
  • Detroit doesn’t need any new landmark, it needs a much larger project than a building.

    Mikael says:
  • Can we stop designing triangular and pyramid-looking buildings and placing them on the top of a triangle on the urban plan? Conspiracy theorists are going crazy.

    tomy says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
504,303 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine