Images + my rundown of the event will follow. Until then, check out some key information pulled from he official press release: ↓↓↓
An international collaborative of designers, including Paris, France- based Agence Ter with Detroit-based Akoaki, rootoftwo, and Harley Etienne are the winners of the DIA Plaza | Midtown Cultural Connections international design competition.
Their project, Detroit Square, highlights the importance of shared cultural infrastructure for Detroit’s Cultural Center Planning Initiative.The international design competition was launched in 2017 by Midtown Detroit, Inc. and the Detroit Institute of Arts to align 12 cultural and educational institutions, creating a connected cultural district in Midtown. The other stakeholder institutions include: The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, College for Creative Studies, Detroit Historical Society, Detroit Public Library, Hellenic Museum of Michigan, International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, Michigan Science Center, The Scarab Club, University of Michigan, and Wayne State University.
The Detroit Square project is a reimagining of the City of Detroit’s 83-acre anchor cultural district. Unifying landscape, architecture and technology, the Detroit Square design draws upon the strengths of Detroit’s cultural institutions.
“Twelve cultural institutions are working together to create a cohesive public realm for the visitor to experience the unique expression of each institution, bringing the inside out. Led by a world- class design team that mixes local knowledge with international reach, we are positioned to create a series of inclusive public spaces where all residents feel welcomed and one of our country’s largest collection of cultural institutions are celebrated in a single walkable district,” said juror Maurice Cox, Director of Planning and Development for the City of Detroit.
The initial 44 submissions from more than 10 countries and 22 cities were narrowed down first to eight who presented the ideas to a panel of judges in June 2018. Agence Ter, Akoaki, rootoftwo, and Harley Etienne were one of three urban and landscape design collaborative teams selected by judges as finalists in the competition. The projects are presently on display at the Detroit Public Library Main Branch.
Beginning in July, the team will conduct a topographic survey, tree survey, mobility study, parking study, stormwater management survey, lighting survey, and more. An ongoing series oftours, workshops and other hands-on opportunities will be open to the public to provide their feedback on the design during the 18-month planning period.
"The Cultural Center Planning Initiative is an opportunity for Midtown Detroit to leverage its arts and cultural assets in a greater way. By developing a more sustainable physical environment and coordinating programmatic opportunities, we will be able to serve a much broader set of residents, artists and visitors," said Susan Mosey, executive director of Midtown Detroit, Inc.