David Adjaye and Michael Van Valkenburgh Win Detroit Riverfront Conservancy Competition

The revamped park will include Performance Hill, which will overlook a floating performance barge. All images courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

Sir David Adjaye and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) have beaten out a pool of more than 80 international design teams to revamp the Detroit waterfront. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy selected the team to transform the 22-acre West Riverfront Park in the city’s downtown with a reenergized park. The $50 million redevelopment, which is still awaiting confirmation, will include a beach, several pavilions, and a small isle for roosting birds.

Images courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

Brooklyn, New York-based MVVA will spearhead the landscaping of the site, while Adjaye will design the park’s pavilions. Pavilions will include Pool, Sports, Park, and Maker Houses, all of which will feature unique dimensions in response to the surrounding landscape. In addition to the Summer Cover beach, a sloped events lawn known as Performance Hill will accommodate up to 5,000 people as it overlooks a floating performance barge in the water. Intended to foster the ecology of the site, the Evergreen Isle will also be created using stone across a narrow slip of land in the water complete with a fish channel, reef, and roosting place for birds. The shoreline of the entire park will be bounded by the Detroit Riverwalk as well.

Images courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

The team behind the winning proposal also includes Emmanuel Pratt, Mobility in Chain, Utile, and local partners LimnoTech, NTH Consultants, PEA.