More on the winners of the downtown Detroit Hudson's site competition

Jun 12, 2013

The iconic Hudson department store in Detroit was demolished 15 years ago, leaving a large empty space in the heart of downtown.

Postcard of the J.L. Hudson Building.
Postcard of the J.L. Hudson Building.
Credit wikipedia.org

But thanks to a contest by Opportunity Detroit, new ideas were generated from all over the world to re-vamp the city on this site. The nine-week competition was open to all architects, designers and artists to create potential use for the site. Rock Ventures LLC and Bedrock Real Estate Services announced the winners of the contest today. 

"The Hudson site is important because it is such an iconic place for Detroit," said Deb Dansby, Vice President of Rock Ventures, "What we don't want to do is put a general everyday development on there. we want to take our time and make the site something that really designates the rebirth Detroit."

The first place winner came from Rome, Italy, by Davide Marchetti and Erin Pellegrino. It featured what they called a "MiniCity Detroit." Including a market space, cinemas, and both residential and commercial spaces, the design incorporates the same red brick design seen in much of Detroit's historic buildings. The second and third place winners were from right here in Michigan. From Kalamazoo, Efrain Velez, Juan Nunez, Marko Kanceljak took second place for their eco-friendly design honoring Detroit's industrial past and factories. Third place went to Team Rossetti, a team from Southfield. Their design included a "greener side" of Detroit with reflecting pools and water views.

In addition to 10 honorable mentions, the community were invited to view and vote on the entries during a special exhibit this past weekend. Three entries were chosen by the voters and received cash prizes.

However, don't expect to see these exact designs just yet. Rock Ventures held the creative contest to gather a wide range of ideas for the site.

"This was our way to illicit some of the great thinking about that site," Dansby explained. "To combine the history, as well as moving it forward in the future."

The winning proposal from Rome
The winning proposal from Rome
Credit http://hudsons.opportunitydetroit.com

From a children's museum to a full scale entertainment center, the ideas were widespread. The only stipulations for entries were that they were original, innovative, held space for significant retail on the ground floor, and that the space could physically accommodate it.

Actual plans for the former Hudson Department Store site will be generated from ideas from all 200 entires. Blueprints for the project will hopefully be completed by the end of this year. Dansby said that they hope to break ground on the site by 2014.

-Alana Holland, Michigan Radio Newsroom