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Detroit 3.0 project Third prize for female students of Warsaw University of Technology

Dobrawa Bies
22 of March '21

The Detroit 3.0 project by the SOWA team consisting of: Joanna Cieslikowska, Sylwia Darewicz, Weronika Majchrowicz, Aleksandra Wtulich received third prize in the Detroit Waterfront District competition. The task was to design a new business card for Detroit' s downtown waterfront. See what the Warsaw University of Technology students proposed.

The goal of the competition organized by Young Architects Competitions was to design a new showcase for Detroit's downtown waterfront that would complement the city's west side. Participants in the competition were asked to propose a new high-rise building that would feature unique architecture and an extensive program. The functions envisioned included residential, office, hotel and service development. It was important tocreate an attractive public space along with recreational areas for residents.

Detroit 3.0 skyeline

skyline Detroit

© Joanna Cieślikowska, Sylwia Darewicz, Weronika Majchrowicz, Aleksandra Wtulich

Third prize for female students of the Warsaw University of Technology

The jury composed of: Daniel Libeskind, Marie Hesseldahl Larsen, Giulio Rigoni, Jean Paul Uzabakiriho, Enrico Frizzera, Claudio Chimienti, Rodrigo Duque Motta, Marcos Rosello, Jorge P.Sllva, Michael Guthrie, Elie Torgow, Clive Wilkinson, Adolfo Suarez, Giovanni De Niederhausern, evaluated works submitted from around the world. Among them was the Detroit 3.0 project by students from the Warsaw University of Technology, which received third prize. Sylwia, Ola, Weronika and Asia met in their third year at the Faculty of Architecture at the Warsaw University of Technology, during an international exchange with the University of Detroit Mercy in 2017, and have since formed a spontaneous design team together. They achieved their first success in April 2020, winning the top prize in the 33rd edition of the 24H Green Tower competition organized by Ideasforward. The girls decided to try their hand again in the Detroit Waterfront District competition, which came quite easily to them due to their sentiment for the city, which they got to know well during an exchange three years ago.

Projekt Detroit 3.0,
sytuacja

Detroit 3.0 project aims to usher in a new era of change in the city

© Joanna Cieslikowska, Sylwia Darewicz, Weronika Majchrowicz, Aleksandra Wtulich

As the authors say about the project:

The site of the former Joe Louis Arena is located in the heart of downtown Detroit, occupying an important place in the city's history and skyline, and above all is a potential for the development of public life. Our proposal is an extension of the waterfront development, seen as an active environment for living and business, being in conversation with the city's existing iconic Renaissance Center located east along the river. As Detroit 1.0 evolved from a city of the automobile industry at the turn of the 20th century, it went through its worst period to become Detroit 2.0 when the Renaissance Center was built as a new chapter in the city's history. The Detroit 3.0 project is set to usher in a new era of imminent change in the context of urbanity and further development of the Downtown area. Combining various functions, the complex fits perfectly into such a diverse urban fabric, incorporating complementary programs to the surrounding development such as, hotel, residential and office units.

Projekt Detroit 3.0,
schematy Projekt Detroit 3.0, rzuty

The project has been aligned with the Detroit grid and opened up towards the river

© Joanna Cieslikowska, Sylwia Darewicz, Weronika Majchrowicz, Aleksandra Wtulich

green connections of the city

Joanna Cieslikowska, Sylwia Darewicz, Weronika Majchrowicz, Aleksandra Wtulich decided to adapt the project to Detroit's grid, opening it towards the river and creating connections with the surrounding buildings through the use of green planes coming down from the individual towers. The green connections redefine the urban fabric, creating a vegetation-rich and vibrant area attractive to residents and visitors. The students' design also involves covering the areas surrounding the concrete jungle with parkland, among others, the adjacent parking lot and the roof of the TCF Center.

To emphasize the importance of the past, the water axis was placed perpendicular to the river line. The water channel is a kind of metaphor that reflects the past and gives a glimpse of future prosperity - the lights of the buildings are reflected in the sheet of water. The water becomes an urban element of the surrounding park. The first floor opens up to the surrounding greenery with an arcade whose wooden detailing is an interpretation of the historic Art déco style so characteristic of the city of Detroit, the architects explain.

Projekt Detroit 3.0,
parter Projekt Detroit 3.0, fragment
zielonej fasady

The first floor refers to the Art déco style and the curtain walls feature trusses on which greenery grows

© Joanna Cieslikowska, Sylwia Darewicz, Weronika Majchrowicz, Aleksandra Wtulich

Detroit 3.0

On the water side, the more than two-story structure houses a recreational program. Behind it, three towers emerge with three main functions: hotel, residential and office. The structure is designed as steel, following an eco-friendly philosophy of material reuse. To minimize energy consumption, the facades are naturally ventilated. The building's heating and cooling system is water-based, using thermal sources. Outside the lightweight curtain wall is a steel truss frame that allows plants to grow on each floor. The greenery refreshes the incoming air and also provides shade for the facade. The rooms also have additional window blinds for manual operation of the sunlight inflow.

Projekt Detroit 3.0

The ubiquitous greenery refreshes the air and shades the facades

© Joanna Cieślikowska, Sylwia Darewicz, Weronika Majchrowicz, Aleksandra Wtulich

Read also about other projects of Polish teams participating in the Detroit Waterfront District competition: in the finals was Spectrum by a team from the Gdansk University of Technology, Detroit Revial also by students from the Warsaw University of Technology, and an honorable mention went to a project from the Poznan University of Technology.

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