Skidmore Owings & Merrill
have been selected by the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy and the City of Detroit
Planning Department to develop a comprehensive plan for the city’s East Riverfront District.
Early stages of planning will analyze of the area's current building stock, pedestrian and car circulation, and land use patterns. One of the main early concerns is addressing the link between the city and the river front, a mission championed by the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy for the past decade.
Along with SOM, six Michigan firms—Birmingham, MI-based McIntosh Poris
, Detroit-based Giffels Webster, Kraemer Design Group, AKT Peerless, Southfield, MI-Based Rich & Associates, and West Bloomfield, MI-Based E. Austell Associates—will provide local consulting. Landscape architect Michel Desvigne will also join SOM for the project. Additionally a “Creative Detroit Think Tank” will be set up by Mohsen Mostafavi
, dean of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. New York-based HR HR&A Advisors will provide real estate, economic development and energy efficiency expertise to the project.
SOM was picked from a field of seven teams which presented initial proposals in late January. Those teams were led by New York-based BJH Advisors, Boston-based STOSS Landscape Urbanism, New York-based Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), Chicago-based Gensler
, and Boston-based Utile.
"The selection process reflects our aspirations for promoting the Detroit waterfront as an international treasure," said Maurice Cox, director of the City of Detroit Planning and Development Department in a press release. "We see no better signal of this than assembling an accomplished team representing local, national and international talent."
The first public meeting
for East Riverfront District plan will be held on April 12th
from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Outdoor Adventure Center, 1801 Atwater Street, Detroit.
“This project is integrally important to the continued evolution of the Detroit Riverfront,” said William Smith, CFO of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy in a press release. “And, we’re looking forward to hearing what the community has to say. The community feedback we’ve received in the past helped shape what the riverfront is today. What we learn throughout this process now will shape what the riverfront will become in the future.”