Ruin Porn Oasis in Detroit

The main concept was driven by The William Livingston house (1893) designed by Albert Kahn which was being abandoned for a long time. One interesting image we found was the house being literally moved in order to protect it from demolishment. However, the sad truth was this action led to its structural instability and collapse at last. When we research “abandoned house”, Mr Kahn’s house is only one of the many blight yet beautiful houses situated in Brush Park, Detroit where attracts many tourists, artists and ruins photographers, sometimes called ruin porn to appreciate the decline of built-environment.

 

We decided to start the project in Brush Park and proposed a megastructure which provides accommodation for people to stay at the ruin site, at the basement of the site it also includes a processing plant to turn the abandoned houses into energy. All houses will move slow enough not to disturb the visitors. And the technology being used will be modern incineration. Filtering through the large double layered chimney at the top would minimize its environmental impact. Also, by planting an oasis on top of Brush Park, oxygen generated would further compensate carbon dioxide. Energy produced not only could make the building self-sustainable, it could also produce energy to the City.

 

Chimneys on the historic façade in Brush Park becomes one of the key drive in form. We tried to map out the smoke pattern on plan and elevation and also the chimneys’ locations in the 19th century. At the end we found a teardrop / aerofoil form which performs perfectly in air movement. The position of the building is therefore located toward to the prevailing wind direction in Detroit.

 

The future city development of Detroit is in a big dilemma: on one hand, government has targeted to reduce the 40000 abandoned structure to improve the urban appearance; on the other hand, the cost and effort are way too much for this government to afford. Therefore, a new energy initiative would be the incentive.

 

As it is located beside the junction of Chrysler Freeway and Fisher Freeway, the two major highway routes in Detroit, the location of Brush Park is advantageous for establishing a centralized facility to deal with the dismantling of blight. Blight all over the city can use the highway system as tracks and moved to the dismantling facility by heavy movers – which is also a perfect scene for ruin porn.

Collaborators: Andrew Cheung, David Leung, Izzi Lau, Lewis Choi 

Category: Urban

Year: 2016

 © 2019 by littleurbanmountain design limited.

architecture interior design and art in hong kong / boutique hotel / house to interior design / social architecture / sustainable design

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