SO-IL to convert Detroit warehouses into multi-purpose art space


New York architecture studio SO-IL has announced plans for the adaptive reuse of a series of warehouse buildings at a marina on the Detroit River as part of the Little Village revitalisation programme in the city.

Named Stanton Yards, after the marina it is to be built on, the project includes the conversion of four warehouses into an integrated “arts campus”.

SO-IL will provide critical restorations of the structures and unify the campus through a courtyard area that will connect to the buildings as well as to the street and adjacent marina.

Multiple entrance points from the street will be lined with sloped meshed canopies and a series of perforated barriers will be erected around the campus.

SO-IL will convert a cluster of former warehouses into an arts centre in Detroit

“With interior spaces ready to be tailored to any number of art-making, workshop, educational, performance, gallery, and recreational possibilities, our intervention creates a porous space in which programs exist in dialogue with the city and one another,” said the studio.

The forms of the existing structures will remain generally as is. But renderings from SO-IL show the introduction of new architectural roofs, the most stand-out being a white sawtooth roof to be added to the entrance building.

Metal siding will replaced at certain junctures by polycarbonate panels to bring in diffuse light to the flexible art spaces within.

“We wanted to celebrate the site’s industrial character, while clearly demonstrating its renewed purpose and identity,” said SO-IL principal Florian Idenburg.

The studio said that other interventions into the current structures will include “polished metal, hammered concrete, and layered brick” but did not elaborate on the interiors or layouts of the buildings themselves or the specific uses of these materials.

New York landscape architecture studio Office of Strategy + Design (OSD) will convert the area inbetween the buildings, which currently serves as dry dockage, into a landscaped outdoor area.

According to SO-IL, these interventions will “reclaim the industrial locale, restoring its natural beauty”. The adjacent marina will remain functioning.

Detroit Stanton Yards
It will have a landscape courtyard between the buildings

Stanton Yards is one of many interventions developed by the local arts institution Library Street Collective to rejuvenate disused aspects of Detroit.

It is part of a neighbourhood that the developers call Little Village, which includes a church converted into an art gallery by Peterson Rich Office and an in-progress conversion of a bakery into artist studios by OMA.

Elsewhere in the city, New York architecture studio ODA renovated the historic Book Tower skyscraper, adding restaurants and a hotel.

The images are courtesy of SO-IL. 



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