Packard Automotive Plant. Detroit, MI

Packard Automotive Plant. Detroit, MI

The Hub

Making the Connection


An important part to the redevelopment of the Packard Automotive Plant is the reactivation of the site. The area surrounding packard is underdeveloped and does not currently support a large number of residents or economic activity. The challenge, then, is how to reach into the surrounding context and draw people into the site, and reactivate it. 

With the introduction of a multi-modal transportation hub, we are creating a place where people can mix into a lively development suited for working, living, and playing. The close proximity to Interstate I-94, also provides a connection to a much larger region drawing people from outside the immediate community. 

Transportation Overview.png

The transportation hub {The Hub}, will use the existing rail system, originally used for Packard Automotive deliveries and shipment, to connect a trolly/tram service from downtown Detroit to the suburbs and Detroit International Airport. This tram service will provide the missing public transportation link between the airport and downtown heart. This important link will connect to our site, conveniently and centrally located to provide a link to other modes of transportation and alternate directions of travel. 

Interior rendering of the transit hub lobby. 

Interior rendering of the transit hub lobby. 

The Hub also includes a 4 bus terminal that is intended for shared use between public and private entities. A large car drop-off will facilitate quick and convenient access to the site’s “Spine” and “Museum” programs. The Hub includes an enclosed bike storage facility to encourage alternate, and environmentally conscience modes of commuting. 

Conceptually, the hub is a tamed version of the urban jungle that has taken over the existing Packard Automotive site. The intrusive nature is in stark contrast to the once highly efficient industrial complex that once inhabited the site. Currently, nature has taken over leaving the site crumbling under the roots of the various types of foliage that have taken over. I think that it is important to honor this urban “take-back by nature,” and play on this condition. 

The overall design of The Hub is analogous to an edge line of trees. Solar panels act as the “leaves” of the tree canopy structures providing shade and enough power for 12 houses. This power can be used for car-charging stations in addition to powering the main lobby and minor supporting functions of The Hub.

Site Plan

Comprehensive site plan.