December 15, 2017
by Charlie Klecha, Assoc. AIA
—On a bitterly cold Thursday morning, Bedrock Detroit, along with a host of city and business leaders, finally ‘broke ground’ on the high-rise that will soon occupy the historic site of the former J.L. Hudson’s department store. Being the top of a parking deck, there was no ground to actually break, so dignitaries symbolically held on to golden shovels, as heavy equipment awkwardly bashed and disfigured an existing elevator tower popping out of the garage just behind them.
The building is expected to rise to 800 feet, making it the tallest in both the City of Detroit, and the State of Michigan. Bedrock’s design team on the project includes a partnership between Detroit-based Hamilton Anderson Associates, represented at the event by founding principal Rainy Hamilton, Jr., FAIA, NOMA, and New York-based SHoP Architects, represented by principal Bill Sharples.
Included in the presentation were a handful of juicy new renderings, mixed in with slightly-revised versions of the views we’ve been seeing for the last few months. For many, these are the most highly-anticipated parts of the announcement of any new development—we in the design profession just love to scrutinize an image to see what we can glean about the early concepts for the project. In that spirit, here are three observations from the new renderings, and speculations on the fun features that these renders might imply are being considered (or are soon to be value-engineered out!).