Brush park in the detroit free press

LOHA’s vision for Brush Park was featured on the front page of this Sunday’sDetroit Free Press. The article commended the Brush Park project for “breaking new ground architecturally” and raising the bar for new development in Detroit.

Brush park Detroit

As a city currently undergoing an urban and cultural rebirth, Detroit is at the forefront of innovative thinking on how cities rebuild and regenerate. Actively participating in the city’s urban revitalisation efforts, LOHA’s design for four mixed-use buildings will form a key component of a catalytic new development in Detroit’s Brush Park neighbourhood, the city’s largest residential project in decades. LOHA’s bold, distinctive buildings will become the cornerstones of this significant revitalisation effort, incorporating housing, retail, dining, and various community amenities on an 8.4 acre site in historic Brush Park.

A mix of new and historic buildings in close proximity to downtown Detroit, Brush Park’s overall redevelopment plan comprises town homes, duplexes, carriage homes and apartments designed by a highly-regarded team of local and national architects, including Merge Architects, Studio Dwell, andHamilton Anderson Associates. This variety of scales, unit types, and design aesthetics will bring together a dynamic, sustainable community. To integrate this walkable neighbourhood into the larger city, Brush Park will augment the residential component with retail, landscaped pedestrian mews, and connections to public transportation.

LOHA’s four corner anchor buildings are variations on a common formal strategy. With sensitivity towards the historic buildings and low-slung character of the neighborhood, each of the buildings’ massing steps down midblock to the height of the adjacent buildings. By redistributing units along this strategy, LOHA’s solution introduces density to the neighborhood while valuing Brush Park’s architectural past.

Inspired by Detroit’s urban palette, each of the four buildings is clad in one of the basic materials commonly found throughout the city – brick, wood, metal, etc. Coupling a signature material with a unique form lends each building a singular design that contributes to the aesthetic diversity of the comprehensive Brush Park master plan.

LOHA’s designs for Brush Park also address larger ecological and urban issues. Supporting the city’s community gardens tradition, the stepped form creates rooftop gardens that visually connect with existing neighborhood parks and pull green space from the internal pedestrian mews to the four main corners of the overall complex. The green roofs join a set of sustainable strategies used throughout Brush Park, including on-site rainwater collection and bioswales along the pedestrian mews.

Breaking ground in fall 2016, the four corner buildings will serve as the main points of entry to this neighborhood hub, centrally located near Detroit’s main business, sports, and entertainment districts. LOHA’s design for the mix of retail, grocers, restaurants, and coffeehouses at the ground level utilizes large storefront windows to create transparency between the public, semi-public, and private realms. Meanwhile, the buildings’ overhangs at the pedestrian level scale down the building envelope to nurture public activities and community interactions.

With Brush Park, LOHA has designed a replicable model for revitalising a district. Brush Park is a case study for several relevant issues facing many contemporary cities: forging a sustainable path for neighborhoods growth, re-stitching the urban fabric after decades of decline, integrating landscape and the public realm, and fostering social diversity and equity.

The design at Brush Park’s southwest corner uses a building envelope of treated cedar and floor-to-ceiling windows to add texture while controlling privacy for the residential units and openness for the retail base, a public gesture.

Located at the northwest corner of the site, the charcoal-gray brick building steps down from a height of 76 feet to articulate five distinct blocks, breaking down the mass of a typical apartment building and providing access to roof gardens and outdoor space from all the units. The building also steps back along the main John R St. elevation, creating a richer experience for the pedestrian at the ground floor.

The building at the corner of Brush St. and Alfred St. uses modulations in the brick pattern and wooden decking to key into significant folds, formal moves, and unique spaces.

For the building at the northeast intersection, LOHA used vibrant red metal to add color to the otherwise more neutral material backdrop of Brush Park.

Brush Park will be realised with Hamilton Anderson Associates as the masterplan architect and Neumann/Smith Architecture as the architect of record. Selected renderings by Hamilton Anderson Associates for the Brush Park Development Company.