Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal Streetscape

Detroit, Michigan


  • Title: Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal Streetscape
  • Subtitle: Detroit, Michigan
  • Phase: complete


Carefully articulated metal and concrete materials provide a soothing complement to the industrial nature of the existing site.  An irregular pattern of metals are layered onto steel framing.  Behind these layers, a large concrete curb provides both a bumper on the rail yard side to protect the structure from the perpetual repositioning of truck containers, and a gravel stop to prevent erosion of the elevated rail site onto the adjacent sidewalk and street.  Perforated steel sheet allows sound to travel through to highway rated sound absorbing materials which are mounted onto the face of the concrete wall behind. Galvanized steel grating serves as a trelliswork for climbing ivy providing yet another layer to mitigate traffic noise, which would otherwise reverberate back toward the residences on the opposite side of the street.  At certain points, the framework eases away from the concrete providing a deep pocket for tree plantings fully protected from vandals.  The deep orange patina of the core ten steel provides a soothing complement to the galvanized grating and the greenery.  Areas such as bus stops provide opportunities for the metals to be articulated in quasi-sculptural forms.