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Graduate Network Studio

Fall 2014

Project Location: Detroit, USA
Collaborator: Peter  Choi
Instructor: Douglas Kelbaugh

Project Brief


Followed the prospect of Transit Oriented Development(TOD) of Detroit, six sites in midtown Detroit are developed to provide a connected, walkable, sustainable and quality improved community. Our site, among those six, envisioned how the collective living between artists, students, and seniors can be organized around a shared courtyard in a mixed-use apartment.​

Detroit New Center District Development


The whole studio, 6 groups , collaborate on developing an overall plan for New Center area. At the heart of the project is a small Amtrak station. The availability of land around it is ideal for Transit-oriented Development (TOD).  The TOD is lively and a dense node with housing, retail/office, entertainment and public space tapering off to clean/light industry, small/lean startups and gardens at the edge.


The site that my partner and I are responsible for is the one at the southwest end, which focuses mainly on residential with some startups. In collaboration with other sites,  the New Center is able to welcome the revitalization.

New Center Site Plan

Design Description


Situated in the New Center of Detroit, within a short distance from Amtrak Station and surrounded by artists, students, and seniors, the site provides senior housing, work-live spaces, and family residences. Surrounding the inner courtyard, the gallery, and the statue park fosters the artistic atmosphere of the community. More importantly, the workshops invite all the residents to be involved in the communal activities. The older people, specifically, gain a chance to live a productive life. 


Unique to this site is a Pink Zone, a purchasable piece of land with a flexible amount of floors and rooms that can be added to it, perfect for artists. This makes the site not only a purely residential area but also an incubator for new business and a mix group community.

Ground Floor Plan

West Elevation

South Elevation

Typical Units

Program Diagram

The programs both inside and out offer a sharing community with a social courtyard. The courtyard is an inclusive space, surrounded by an artists’ workshop, a senior classroom, and a shared exhibition gallery. 

The long corridor in the building - connecting senior housing and skip-stop apartments - gives a shared commuter space which includes a library, conference room and a fitness area on the second floor. The project also features flexible areas for retail and galleries.

Circulation Description



Cass Avenue and Amsterdam Street serve the circulation for most vehicular and pedestrian transportation. The back alley of the site allows residents’ vehicles to go to underground parking and service vehicles of the workshops and restaurants to commute. 


Each of the housings has its own lobby. Also, the egress stairs within the evacuation distance of the dead end corridor secure the evacuation for emergencies.

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