Grand River Public Space

Detroit, Michigan


  • Phase: Under Construction


DTE Energy,one of the largest employers in Detroit, is playing a ground breaking role inthe formation of a new public space on the fringe of their downtown campuswhich is intended to spur revitalization of the surrounding neighborhood. Theproposed triangular–shaped public space lies one block to the east of the DTEEnergy building, along Grand River Avenue in the heart of the city. In acollaborative effort with Living Lab, inFORM studio has provided full designservices for the HUB, an on-site cafe | pavillion intended to form thecatalytic heart of the park. Programmatically the HUB will provide a fullservice kitchen, public restrooms, AV storage, bar area, balcony seating, ahistorical DTE narrative and a rooftop garden with provisions made to encloseseating for 150 people.


Threedistinct concepts were created for the HUB building and one selected forinclusion into the overall master plan.  Theproposed public face of the HUB building aims to unify pedestrian circulationwhile creating an iconic wayfinding point within the park interior. Theblackened steel and wood cladding pull from adjacent material palettes while anintegrated Interactive Display System is optimized for augmented realityapplications in which optical markers or real-life objects trigger informationand accommodate an unlimited number of concurrent users with a high-tech LCDdisplay. An EHTE (Extensible Hybrid Tracking Engine) is configured to capturereflections, passive ambient light and shadows between alternating frame rates.The tracking system can be used to see virtually anything placed on the displayand visible with IR, tracking and passing information to applications throughfinger points, hands, objects (shapes) or optical markers. The high technologydisplay system is intended to support and entertain patrons of the Grand River PublicSpace site.


  • 2016 AIA Michigan Honor Award, AIA Michigan, Category: Unbuilt