gids gids
< >

Detritus Detroit
...the window and the door, the ceiling and the roof, the corridor and the room, the stair and the ramp...

“If (as the philosophers maintain) the city is like some large house, and the house is in turn like some small city, cannot the various parts of the house - atria, xysti, dining rooms, porticoes, and so on - be considered miniature buildings?” – Alberti


This project continues the tradition of attempting to break with what is termed modernity in architecture through an attack on the nature of the simplest of architectural things; things like the wall and the ground.




By removing the thread that links building components together elements become useless. They can no longer function as intended but rather have to be injected with a new purpose. Also, since building elements never stand alone, this recontextualization removed the particular relationships the elements maintain to the wall and to the ground to regulate enclosure

or stability.


How can these displaced elements be treated? How can they function? What new uses could they offer?

How about colossal buildings? If Detroit can be thought to be too big, then perhaps its architecture might be

too small.


This project proposes a solution to Detroit’s lack of density through the production of oversized urban objects. The enlargement of building elements generated new forms of urban monumentality and architectural typologies for Detroit.


Detroit has an urban landscape which is abundantly underdeveloped, desolate, and abandoned, but no part of Detroit is as underdeveloped as its river. Not the river front, but the river itself.  A border condition between the United States and Canada, the building elements were wrapped in order to obscure directionality. The Wrapping of building elements removed their function and they would need to be scaled in order to gain a new programmatic purpose.