Submissions to the “Redesigning Detroit” competition matched the enthusiasm of its sponsor, Rock Ventures / Quicken Loans, in envisioning a future for the once iconic J.L. Hudson’s department store on Woodward Avenue downtown. Demolished 15 years ago, the 25-story tower left a physical and symbolic gap in the city’s urban fabric that the competition asked its entrants to repair.
“You couldn’t ask for a more exciting piece of property to redevelop, and one that can have such a profound impact on how Detroit feels about itself and sees itself,” said Reed Kroloff, outgoing director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and advisor on the competition.
The juried competition garnered 200 submissions. Winners were awarded $15,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place and $2,500 for third place, but it’s unclear what will be built. Jim Ketai, who manages Dan Gilbert’s real estate entity, mentioned plans for two residential towers on the Hudson site in a Q&A with AN. The goal of the competition from the sponsor’s standpoint was apparently to get a conversation going. Per their usual MO, Rock Ventures made one stipulation: it had to include retail. Here are the winners:
First Place: “MINICITY Detroit” Davide Marchetti and Erin Pellegrino; Rome, Italy
Second Place: “Detroit Entrepreneurial Center (DEC),” Efrain Velez, Juan Nunez, Marko Kanceljak; Kalamazoo, Michigan
Third Place: “Highwave Detroit,” Team Rossetti/Metrogramma; Southfield (soon to be Detroit), Michigan Three projects also won a public voting round, earning cash prizes of $2,500, $1,000 an $500 respectively:
First Place: “Hudson’s Quarter,” Emilie M. Rottman and James G. Ramil; Washington DC
Second Place: “Exten(D),” Extending Life in the D, Beyond the 9 to 5, Smith Group JJR-Diana Khadr, Tengteng Wang, Alexa Bush, Kyle Johnson, Jessie McHugh; Detroit, Michigan
Third Place: “Blue Fountain Tower,” Salvador Parra Espinosa and Selene Serna Contreras, De San Bernadino; Toluca, Mexico