West Riverfront Park designer to be announced Tuesday
The design team selected for an estimated $50 million overhaul of West Riverfront Park in downtown Detroit will be revealed Tuesday, according to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.
The announcement will be made at General Motors’ Wintergarden in the Renaissance Center, the automaker’s headquarters on the Detroit riverfront.
Last summer, four teams of designers were selected to come up with concepts on how to transform West Riverfront Park, the rather plain 22-acre space that’s downstream from Joe Louis Arena and Riverfront Towers. A jury decided on the winning concept. The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, the nonprofit group that manages the park, is raising $50 million to make the redesign a reality.
The design teams dreamed big. Renderings of the plans released in February revealed a wide range of visions, including a new lagoon for canoes, kayaks and fishing; a sandy beach; a curvy pedestrian bridge and a path that juts onto the river; an ice rink; and a grassy amphitheater bowl.
Each of the four teams have a principal firm and a host of collaborators, including local businesses and design firms. The four principal firms are:
■Gustafson Guthrie Nichol of Seattle. Projects include the landscape for the National Museum of African America History and Culture in Washington.
■Hood Design Studio of Oakland, Calif. Projects include the Coastlines Wilmington Trail in California.
■James Corner Field Operations of New York. Projects include the High Line in Manhattan.
■Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates of New York. Projects include the Maggie Daley Park in Chicago.
West Riverfront Park, 1801 W. Jefferson Avenue, is between Rosa Parks Boulevard and Eighth Street. The site held a former newspaper printing plant until 2007, when the joint venture that operates The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press, then known as Detroit Media Partnership, sold the property to the conservancy. The park has been open to the public since 2014.
The park is the western edge of the Detroit RiverWalk, the pedestrian/bicycle path that is one the city’s most popular attractions. More than 3 million people use some part of the downtown path each year.