YouthVille Detroit

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Location: Detroit, MI. Alongside the city's main avenue

The Project is comprised of three early 20th century structures that were unified and 'reinvented' as a single two-story 85,000 square foot Youth Center - the largest of its kind in the Midwest, both in size and array of services. The organization selected the site along the Detroit’s main avenue to boldly express its optimism, while celebrating the potential of young people. The building is conceived around the dialogue between old and new to reflect the interaction between established members of the community and the youth of the future. As it faces the neighborhood, the exterior façade respects the building's history by maintaining the patchwork quilt of original masonry, recasting it for today as a unified, yet beautifully textured orange brick wall. Along the Avenue, oversized graphics bring a bold, contemporary presence to the street as translucent polycarbonate cladding and clear glazing expose the creative program spaces and seek to attract members of the iGeneration through its doors. The interior began with an exercise in maximizing existing resources and continued as a dynamic interplay of original elements – walls, floors and openings, and new interventions – ramps, rails, stairs and overhead doors. Once again, the original building elements lend stability to the overall composition of spaces, while serving as a backdrop for the new programming. The inspired playful contemporary architecture represents the unrefined, yet authentic spirit of the young people. Large communal spaces such as the cybercafé, multi-purpose room and gymnasium enliven the Avenue façade, while more private, light / sound sensitive programming such as the production studio and digital media classrooms are reserved for the ‘core’ of interior spaces. Anchored by a two-story Common Area that combines flexible and individual meeting rooms, the interior is a collection of lively, interwoven spaces that encourage collaboration, learning and recreation.

Read more at this project's website.

Transect Zone(s): T5 center.
Status: Complete
Project or Plan's Scale: Building
Land area (in acres): 85000
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Residential types: Mid-rise/loft.
Project team designers: Hamilton Anderson Associates
Project team developers: Detroit Youth Foundation

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Starting/Ending date of construction/implementation: -