Schmidt Hammer Lassen announces first US scheme

Schmidt Hammer Lassen has designed a major mixed-use scheme in downtown Detroit, USA.

Monroe Blocks, the first US scheme for the architects, will feature a number of irregularly-shaped blocks, including the city’s first high-rise office tower in a generation.

The proposals also include 480 homes, various commercial spaces, entertainment and sport and leisure facilities, new public squares and green spaces, and the potential for exhibition spaces and performance venues.

The development, commissioned by Bedrock Detroit, will connect some of the city’s key central public spaces including Cadillac Square, Campus Martius, Library Square and Woodward to ‘bind’ the city centre.

Kristian Ahlmark, Senior Partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen, said:

“We are honoured that our first US project is happening in this great city. From our earliest visits, we experienced the unique optimism, energy and entrepreneurial spirit that defines Detroit. This project is very much a part of that movement. The challenge has been to create a new way of defining central business districts as a diverse and multifunctional area for the benefit of the wider community.”

“What we’re doing from a public space standpoint within the development is going to be special,” says Dan Mullen, President of Bedrock’s real estate arm. “It’s not just a big, tall building. It’s a big, tall building that interacts with street level and public spaces throughout. There’s going to be different pods and nods of great spaces to hang out and for people to get together.”

Schmidt Hammer Lassen has been working in close collaboration with developer Bedrock Detroit, local architects Neumann Smith, engineering firm Buro Happold and landscape architects SLA.

The development is set to break ground in early 2018 and will complete in early 2022.

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