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Detroit Wonderland Studio

Part 2 Project 2020
Joshua Levy
University of Arkansas | USA
With contemporary architecture increasingly emphasizing building anew, it is easy to dismiss the existing gems of the forgotten past. Adaptive reuse provides opportunity to layer upon the work of esteemed predecessors. Of the many abandoned relics within the city of Detroit, the Detroit Wonderland Studio focuses on the ¬long-vacant Continental Motors complex.

While reacting to the immediate site, the past, present, and future of Detroit plays an integral role throughout the work. The site resides east of downtown Detroit, neighboring Chrysler Motors and the sparse neighborhoods of Grosse Pointe.

The vacated Continental Motors facility, designed by Albert Kahn, is a concrete bunker designed for the testing of engines, entailing their explosion. The complex is a stunning architectural relic, but its eccentricity does not suggest a ready and natural reuse. Our challenge is to repurpose spaces through creative programming that is economically and socially regenerative of place.

Joshua Levy


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