West Station Plaza- Karl Oscarsson & Bekim Alji, Lund SoA


Everyone may diss on Detroit for being run down, but this project provides a solution for a few of the cities problems.  From the Lund SoA, this train station acts as a new catalyst to the ongoing revitalization of the entire city.  Adjoining the iconic Michigan Central Station, the project uses the amazing architecture left over, as well as re-connects the project to nearby Roosevelt park.

STUDENTS: Karl Oscarsson & Bekim Aliji
SCHOOL: Lund School of Architecture 

Detroit is vast even for the north american scale of things. Not only does this make the real estate market disruptive, it also toughens the chance of starting up small business and it increases maintenance costs.  Costs to police property, put out fires, light the streets, pump water and shovel snow for all these sparsely populated areas is ineffi cient. Large scale demolition to reduce the area of the city is needed. 
Plans are to reduce the size of the city to save it from economically going down.  In 2010, 3000 vacated homes were demolished, and 7000 more the following three years. Up to 40 000 homes could eventually go. At the same time as the reduction of Detroit is being realized, important neigborhoods’ nodes should be identified and developed as local initiators- and motors of progress and development. 
The chosen site location is concentrated mainly on the southern side of the old station, and the idea is to reclaim this land and reuse this space to reinstate the train-stop, open up the space by removing decaying structure and introduce a landscape of new functions and possibilities for programs within this station area, enhance the communication to Detroit and bring it closer to the center, clean out the ground floor waiting hall of the old station and revive it as an open plaza which will link and prolong the open Roosevelt Park with to the park/plaza design project. 
   Concentrating and reactivating already existing spaces within the city helps densifying and vitalizing this area the way it once was. 
Michigan Central Station was an icon since it was built, and still is, but today mostly for its historical and architectural signifi cance. By creating this new center, in a central neighborhood of central Detroit, it further ignites the already on-going plans of “recycling” the city.

Check out Karl’s  & Bekim’s websites for more of their work!
All text & images via Karl Oscarsson.

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