re-invisioning detroit: a new grand opening for the downtown re-invisioning detroit: a new grand opening for the downtown
jun 18, 2013

re-invisioning detroit: a new grand opening for the downtown

‘redesigning detroit: a new vision for an iconic site’ by f(f), detroit, michigan, united states
all images courtesy of f(f)




the mission for the ‘grand opening’ is to create a vision for 24/7 timeless vibrant and walk-able urban neighborhood in downtown detroit with a catalytic impact on the retail activities of woodward avenue corridor. despite the declining population and activities of the downtown detroit in past decades, recent influx of major cultural facilities, such as theaters and sports stadiums as well as major office headquarters and commercial programs have established optimistic progress that the downtown could flourish from. the plan, designed by chung whan park, terry park, jeong jun song, hyuntek yoon, and kyung jae yu of f(f) is to completely revitalize street life of downtown detroit by filling the temporal gap of an existing cultural facility and commercial district adjacent to the site and encouraging retail activities with timeless programs, including “the arcade”, a department store, and an art gallery with extended hours of operation. the mixed-use development will transform the former j.l hudson’s site, once one of the most vibrant retails, into a signature place for residing, working, employing, visiting, living, playing and investing in a vibrant community, as well as a gateway of connecting downtown detroit and rest of the midtown detroit, attracting every local residents and visitor to the new local hotspot.






it is expected that the project will stimulate the retail activities and encourage pedestrian traffic, extend active hours for various activities including kiosks, retails, gourmand dining, bar, seasonal events and festivities, provide access to quality art and design workshops and public exhibitions of collaborative works to the regional educational institutions, art communities, and visitors, restore the historical identity of the one of the most important retail corridors, provide for 253 residences with 20 percent of affordable units and 354,199 ft2 of class-A office spaces, maximize the rental revenue from office, residential, retail, and department by stationing them in their prime location of function, connect two major existing and proposed public transportation infrastructures to bring the biggest crowd to the hudson’s site and all of the downtown area, and minimize risk by utilizing and reinforcing the existing framework of the urban context to bring economic development and potential future opportunities.








inside the arcade



floor plan / arcade level



floor plan / level 1


floor plan / tower level



urban scheme








project info:



title: redesigning detroit: a new vision for an iconic site
competition site:
program: retail, office, residence, art center
location: detroit, mi, us
year: may 2013
result: honorable mention
designer: f(f) – chung whan park, terry park, jeong jun song, hyuntek yoon, kyung jae yu



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.

  • Reminds me of Kyoto Station.

    Don’t people needs job etc to live there?

    Gordon says:
  • I wonder if Detroit’s “powers that be” have Google-d “midtown plaza, Rochester NY…” before embarking on their grand scheme for another renaissance? I was a freshman attending college studying, funnily enough, “retail management” in Rochester the year that Mid-town opened, touted as the way to save decaying cities from the menace of suburban sprawl and shopping centers. I understand that Mid-town was closed in 2008, since torn down so that the original street grid can be restored. Interesting how the pendulum swings.

    Rich says:

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