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Redesigning Detroit: A New Vision for an Iconic Site


From California to Pennsylvania, Australia to Vietnam, Detroit continues to inspire creative minds across the U.S. and around the world.

As part of the Opportunity Detroit campaign, we invited Detroiters and citizens of the world to imagine the possibilities for one of downtown Detroit’s long-vacant, most significant pieces of real estate: the site of the old Hudson’s Department Store.

The creative and architectural communities were invited to give us their ideas for what could be built on the site through the Redesigning Detroit: A New Vision for an Iconic Site competition.

More than 1,000 people from around the globe registered, and nearly 200 of them submitted ideas. The enthusiasm from Detroiters and Detroiters at-heart shows Opportunity Detroit is REAL. Many designs were submitted from southeast Michigan.  In total 23 states and 22 other countries were represented.

After spending several hours observing and critiquing nearly 200 inspiring designs for the historic Hudson’s site, the judges and the community have spoken.

A panel of five distinguished architects and urban planning experts from across the country judged the entries. The “Redesigning Detroit” juried competition awarded $15,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place and $2,500 for third place. The winners are:

First Place: “MINICITY Detroit, Davide Marchetti and Erin Pellegrino; Rome, Italy 

Second Place: “Detroit Entrepreneurial Center (DEC),” Efrain Velez, Juan Nunez, Marko Kanceljak; Kalamazoo, Michigan

Third Place: “Highwave Detroit,” Team Rossetti/Metrogramma; Southfield (soon to be Detroit), Michigan

In addition to the three top submissions, the jury also awarded 10 Honorable Mention awards as well as three prizes for the top Family of Company entries.

After the official judging ended on June 7, the public was invited to view and vote on the submissions as part of a special exhibit and community open house Saturday and Sunday June 8-9. The three submissions earning the most public votes won cash prizes of $2,500, $1,000 and $500 respectively for first, second and third places.

First Place: “Hudson’s Quarter,” Emilie M. Rottman and James G. Ramil; Washington DC

Second Place: “Exten(D),” Extending Life in the D, Beyond the 9 to 5, Smith Group JJR-Diana Khadr, Tengteng Wang, Alexa Bush, Kyle Johnson, Jessie McHugh; Detroit, Michigan

Third Place: “Blue Fountain Tower,” Salvador Parra Espinosa and Selene Serna Contreras, De San Bernadino; Toluca, Mexico

You can view the winning entries and all submitted designs by clicking here.

We would like to thank all of the participants for their entries. We appreciate the time and effort that they put forth in their respective designs. They have made the Redesigning Detroit competition a success.