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Kevin Kirk

Kevin Kirk

Detroit, MI, US

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Existing traffic acts as a barrier between downtown and the waterfront plaza.
Existing traffic acts as a barrier between downtown and the waterfront plaza.
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Detroit Riverfront Design Competition - More Images are on their way!!!

Detroit's riverfront is currently undergoing a transformation. Former industrial sites and abandoned infrastructures are being transformed into new developments, and recreational spaces.  

Hart plaza being at the end of Detroit's bloodline (Woodward Avenue), is a very important node for the city, as it is where the water meets downtown.  It is the city's event space.

The competition was an exploration of connections within this public recreation space. 

My partner and I  seen many opportunities within the existing barrier that Jefferson Avenue places between the downtown area, and the Plaza.  We also found opportunities in the existing infrastructures such as the Canadian Tunnel, and the People mover.   

To us Jefferson is too wide, crossing several lanes of traffic and a large median is too dangerous.  This is why we proposed to sink a large portion of Jefferson Avenue below ground,  and bring the park closer to downtown.  Lower and Upper Jefferson will now have separate uses.  Lower Jefferson will be for Passers Through and Canadian Tunnel Traffic.  Upper Jefferson will be a small surface traffic road, which is more pedestrian friendly than before.  

Connections to the existing people mover stations surrounding the site can be created using gently sloping pathways, with natural surfacing.  These pathways not only build stronger connections to the cities infrastructures, they create overlook opportunities, and natural habitats for wildlife.  

 
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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Detroit, MI, US
My Role: Designer, Graphics
Additional Credits: Mary Cay Lancaster (partner, designer, graphics)

 
Cut the barrier in half.
Cut the barrier in half.
Faster pass-through traffic continues below,
Faster pass-through traffic continues below,
The plaza moves closer to downtown.
The plaza moves closer to downtown.
Air and light circulation is created, while producing pathway opportunities for pedestrian traffic above.
Air and light circulation is created, while producing pathway opportunities for pedestrian traffic above.
Existing infrastructures (people mover stations, terraces) are connected to the plaza.
Existing infrastructures (people mover stations, terraces) are connected to the plaza.
Daylight the new Lower Jefferson Ave Tunnel.
Daylight the new Lower Jefferson Ave Tunnel.
Existing Amphitheater, transformed into a new interior gallery.
Existing Amphitheater, transformed into a new interior gallery.
Connections between the various topographies create opportunities for refuge and program.
Connections between the various topographies create opportunities for refuge and program.
We took the opportunity to extend the existing path of Woodward Avenue into the river. Woodward is perpendicular to the river and can be considered the primary arterial corridor of the city. The topography created opportunities for an intertwining of the various pathways, and a scenic overlook.
We took the opportunity to extend the existing path of Woodward Avenue into the river. Woodward is perpendicular to the river and can be considered the primary arterial corridor of the city. The topography created opportunities for an intertwining of the various pathways, and a scenic overlook.

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