Connecting Culture and Nature in Detroit's Downtown Core: The Design of a Technical College Campus
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This thesis addresses the City of Detroit`s transformation from a thriving center of trade and commerce to its present abandoned state. Due to the decentralization of industry and massive suburbanization since the 1950s, Detroit presently resembles a ‘middle landscape,’ somewhere between urban and rural. This thesis proposes an urban design strategy for Detroit that mediates between nature and culture, through the vehicle of a design for a new technical college campus. First, investigation into the ‘zone of in?uence’ explores the city`s present conditions including its infrastructure, buildings, and its current relationship with the natural environment. Secondly, the ‘zone of control’ proposes a new urban typology that is appropriate to the proposed college institution. Lastly, this thesis considers the ‘zone of effect,’ which displays the in?uence the proposed campus could have in promoting land development in the city`s residential areas, Eastern Market District, and Rivertown Warehouse District along the Detroit River waterfront.