The Packard Belt by JGCH Architects | ITSLIQUID

The Packard Belt by JGCH Architects

Architecture, Design | January 7, 2015 |

JGCHImage courtesy of Paul Hitz

The Packard Belt by JGCH Architects

The Packard Automotive Plant in Detroit, a once producer of luxury cars, was completed in 1911 and closed its doors in 1958, subsequently falling into ruin and becoming a symbol of the city’s downfall and financial crisis. The call for an International Competition titled Reanimate the Ruins, aiming to design, master plan and update the complex was immediately fascinating.

JGCHImage courtesy of Paul Hitz

The Packard Factory ruins are buildings in which cars were born. By thinking of this original situation, the history of the relationship between the car and the building became central to the project’s narrative. At 3000 feet long, the building does not relate to the surrounding city blocks and will always be viewed as a barrier. By dividing the larger volume into smaller buildings, we not only reduce the scale to a contextually sensitive one but also enable porosity across the buildings and the possibility of cross-programmatic interaction.

JGCHImage courtesy of Paul Hitz

Despite the car’s role in creating sprawl and destroying Detroit’s city center, it was impossible to treat it as an irrelevant part of the architecture in this specific case. The created serpentine belt that folds and meanders through the existing structures is seen as a way to stitch together all the resulted smaller scale buildings. It creates the grander gesture needed for a cohesive master plan.

JGCHImage courtesy of Paul Hitz

The form was inspired by the regenerative power of the serpentine belt found in car engines, which provides and unifies different components into a holistic functioning system. The cultural belt in the project unites the many disparate programmatic elements as well as it generates the high social and cultural voltage for a successful community.

more. www.jgch.org

Are you an artist, architect, designer? Would you like to be featured on ITSLIQUID platform? Send an e-mail to info@itsliquid.com or fill the form below






    RELATED POSTS


    SLUIS

    Architecture | May 22, 2024

    Located between the dense city and the vast landscapes on the edge of Amsterdam, the new Sluishuis is shaped by its complex surroundings at once close to large infrastructure and to small-scale urban settlements. Read more


    TROPICAL MODERNISM: ARCHITECTURE AND INDEPENDECE

    Architecture | May 16, 2024

    The V&A will stage a major architecture exhibition on the architectural style of Tropical Modernism. In the late 1940s, British architects Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry Read more


    FLOATING GLASS MUSEUM

    Architecture | May 13, 2024

    Architecture firm Luca Curci Architects presents Floating Glass Museum, a groundbreaking project where the boundaries between art and nature blur and the water becomes a canvas for contemporary expression. The project has been conceived in collaboration with Giulia Tassi Design and an international team of architects and designers with the support of artificial intelligence. Read more


    BREATH OF AN ARCHITECT

    Architecture | March 28, 2024

    From December 9, 2023 to April 21, 2024, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain presents Breath of an Architect, an exhibition especially created for the institution by architect Bijoy Jain Read more


    Sign up for our Newsletter.

    Enter your email to receive our latest updates!