Detroit Waterfront District

Detroit Waterfront District focuses on the urban void overlooking the river amid downtown skyscrapers. YAC challenges architects to design the future leisure and entertainment heart of the city of Detroit.

    This is a story that few people are happy to tell. It is a story that shining downtown skyscrapers hide.

    However, the deep wounds on the huge body of Detroit prove it happened and still endures: countless battered dwellings, empty streets and abandoned buildings scar the city. It is difficult to tell how “the arsenal of democracy” – Detroit grew to be known as this in the early 1940s- transformed into the largest modern-day ghost city. Yet, history is full of contrasts.

    The pendulum of time often changes its direction. Time and again, where a void is created an opportunity arises. Indeed, over the last years strong winds of change have been whipping the city. They have blown the fog of the past away and dispersed the mist of decay stifling Detroit’s development for decades. As a result, many of the voids of the city – the wounds generated by depopulation and economic crisis- turned into new epicenters of urban regeneration. They became valuable canvas where to paint new masterpieces of contemporary architecture. 

    Detroit Waterfront District precisely focuses on the most fascinating canvas of all: the urban void overlooking the river amid downtown skyscrapers.

    Detroit Waterfront District is the competition promoted by Manni Group in collaboration with Sterling Group to design the future leisure and entertainment heart of the city of Detroit.

    Architects will deal with the area where stood the Joe Louis Arena beside the place where- according to tradition- Detroit’s founding fathers landed. Participants will have the opportunity to design a building complex to redefine the city skyline. They will generate superb architecture masterpieces to become the symbol of the revival of one of the most iconic and controversial cities of the history of the United States of America.

    Yac thanks all the architects who will take part in this challenge.


    First Prize


    Clément MEYNARD, Thomas Labarthe, Sergey Guichard, Jung Hwan Kim

    Second Prize


    Miguel de Rojas, Gerardo Peregrín, Marc Amigó Cañas

    Third Prize


    Joanna Cieslikowska, Sylwia Darewicz, Aleksandra Wtulich, Weronika Majchrowicz

    Gold Mention


    mohamed abdelkrim khaled bouhidel

    Gold Mention


    Michael Conroe, Rachel Mordaunt, Andrew Dugan, Nicholas Sylvies, Britt Zuckerman

    Gold Mention


    Sergii Protsan, Karina Shmarkova, Oleksii Glushkov

    Gold Mention

    Design Outsider

    Callum O'Connor, Josh Speedie, Leo Räni, Daniel Duncan, Aidan Scott