Detroit West Riverfront Park Competition

Detroit west riverfront park competition

‪On February 8, GGN presented as one of the four finalist design teams who were asked to envision the future of West Riverfront Park.The West Riverfront Park Design Competition was announced in June of last year, and has since drawn interest nationally and internationally from leading landscape architects and design professionals. 

From the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy Website:

The West Riverfront Park Design Competition incorporates a unique community-led design process in which the public has been encouraged to share their ideas and input all throughout the project. In addition to hosting several community meetings, the Conservancy assembled a Community Advisory Team (CAT) made up of every-day Detroiters who visited public places in world-class cities like Chicago, New York and Philadelphia so that they could report back on their experiences.  CAT members will be on hand to engage with visitors when the public gets another chance to see the renderings and models during a public exhibition from February 10- 22.  The exhibition takes place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 1001 Woodward in downtown Detroit. 

Detroit is a city celebrated for dreaming big. In the Woodward Plan’s grand diagonals, the bold lines of industries that lead the world, and the outstretched arms of Marshall Fredericks’ sculpture, there is a scale and strength throughout Detroit.GGN's "Crossing Ground" design for the Detroit West Riverfront Park celebrates this spirit by marking a bold new figure between the City and the River. This site anchor invites Detroiters to step out of the daily city and elevate their experience to new horizons and dreams.

Great public spaces become celebrated as icons of their cities. But their real greatness lies in providing a place where differences can meet. We each arrive with our own reasons but are quickly reminded that we are not alone. Such shared experiences challenge us to expand our understanding of ourselves and others, shaping the way we see the world around us.During a recent salon discussion in Detroit, one Southwest leader voiced a “fearful excitement” for the future of the West Riverfront Park. That sentiment expanded as hope for all the park could offer, but apprehension that an intangible “something” sustained by generations of Detroiters could be lost. 

Our "Crossing Ground" proposal for the West Riverfront Park intersects Detroit’s People, Land, and Spirit to establish a new topography where the many stories of this place can meet. It is a park where the City meets the River, West Detroit meets East Detroit, New Detroit meets Old Detroit, and all residents have a space to dream big and make the city they know and love into a stronger tomorrow. Crossing Ground looks to the richness of these many threads  and establishes a new ground for connecting them together. A place that is accessible and welcoming to all, this park puts people at the center where a celebration of the lives of Detroiters are the real attraction.




Location: Detroit, MI
Size: 22 acres
Client: The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy
Competition Dates: August 2017 - March 2018


GGN: Landscape Architect

ROSSETTI, Detroit : Architecture and Urban Planning

Building Community Value, Detroit: Community Development

Salonniere, Detroit: Cultural Liaison

Mannik Smith Group, Detroit: Transportation Consultant

Conservation Design Forum, Grand Rapids, MI: Ecological Design

Guy Nordenson Associates, NYC: Structural Engineers

Arup, NYC: Marine Engineer + Sustainable Design


Read more about this exciting competition in the following articles. The winning design team will be chosen mid-March 2018.Public input is an important part of this competition process. Be sure to peruse the lively comment streams for each of these articles.

Here's what' the West Riverfront could look like by Robin Runyan, Curbed Detroit 
Finalists for West Riverfront Park redesign dreamed big by Louis Aguilar, Detroit News 
Meet the finalists competing for the chance to reinvent Detroit's riverfront park by Dana Afana, Detroit News / M Live
Detroit, come get a look at the potential future of the west riverfront by John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press 
Four design teams unveil concepts for Detroit's West Riverfront Park by World Landscape Architect 



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