Farmington Hills, Michigan
The design problem for the Renovation of the City Hall for Farmington Hills is a complex issue requiring a broader scope than a singular building design approach. It is imperative to understand the existing context for all of its limitations and latent potentials, and its relevance to the project vision.
The current City Hall is in the epicenter of suburban sprawl surrounded by miles of single family residential. Additionally, the current municipal complex is fractured by parking and vehicular movement, impeding the internal connectivity of the site. Our design approach introduces a series of interventions to the site and City Hall that can be restorative in nature through the introduction of useable and high quality greenspace, addressing the urban edge, minimizing impervious paving, introducing more efficient methods of vehicular transit and providing a pedestrian friendly environment. The intention is to create a Municipal Campus with both an internal and external identity.
Over 70% of the land area is dedicated to off-street parking and vehicular movement including 6 curb cuts to service the complex of only 4 structures. A fundamental need for the vision of the complex is to establish visual identity and a clear delineation of how to access the site. Eliminating the service road and two curb cuts from Eleven Mile Road positions the drive on Orchard Lake Road as the clear public entry to the Municipal Campus. The current meandering configuration disengages the complex from the road and reinforces a more singular vehicular approach. Providing a more linear gesture with the inclusions of pedestrian friendly sidewalks, street trees and street lights establishes an urban quality within the campus and immediately extends that image to Orchard Lake Road. Internally, a pedestrian plaza organizes visitor movement to various buildings within the complex and establishes an orientation of public entrance that is easily accessible to and from the plaza.