Category Archives: Landscape Architecture

Park[ing] Day 2015

Parking Day Concept Idea

RogueHAA’s installation for Parking Day 2015 had two goals – first, to create a usable public amenity through the reclamation of vehicular real estate, and second to interject a bit of soft, green surfacing into the hard urban landscape. The undulating surface of the installation was created by carving block of foam off-site. Painted plywood provided a clean edge around the installation’s perimeter, and sod provided a surface for passerbys to sit and enjoy. The installation was fabricated off-site and assembled in a parking stall on Broadway in less than 20 minutes.

The team received compliments from adjacent businesses on their creativity, and local news took and interest too.

Check it out – MLIVE – RogueHAA Parking Day


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PLATFORM D: Detroit Station for the Arts

RogueHAA recently participated in the “Detroit Station for the Arts” competition. It was intended to rehabilitate the abandoned Detroit’s central station to transform it into a hybrid building full of life, a center for the Arts. Detroit’s legacy was built on the consummation of art and imagination with technical ingenuity. The foresight and craft of Detroit’s past is resurfacing, and has found its arena. By activating Michigan Central Station, this proposal aims to cultivate an industry which is endemic to the city’s being.

Platform D is envisioned as an adaptive reuse development which converts the vacant train station into a hub of creative production. Hotel and residential units fill the ends of the building, while the central corridors are used for art/innovation studios. The 4th-6th floors are flexible use spaces which can host performances, over-sized installations or exhibits. The façade treatment on this floor is transparent, allowing the spaces’ program to be viewed from the street. The upper floors remain loosely programmed with a restaurant overlooking a garden and plaza along the central corridor. The iconic large arched windows remain without glazing to maintain the magnetism of its current condition. The station’s platforms are repurposed into a plaza which can be adapted to different uses. Modified boxcars can be used as art installation spaces and can be rolled into different locations. The plaza terminates in the return of the Amtrak Station.

A culture of production and creation is known globally as a symbol of Detroit, and has arrived at its new home, on PLATFORM D.

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Parking Day 2014

In 2014, RogueHAA participated in Park(ing) Day. This event, started by Rebar in 2005, takes place annually when citizens, artists and activists transform parking spaces into public spaces with the purpose of encouraging debate about how public space is created and allocated.

RogueHAA collaborated with Wayne State University to create a design for a single parking space which was flexible enough to meet the programming needs of multiple university organizations throughout the day. The space was organized through a network of adaptable modules which could be utilized as a bench or table, depending on their orientation. This allowed the space to adapt different uses.

RogueHAA constructed and installed the modules with the help of volunteers. After the event was over, the modules were donated to The Alley Project, a youth support organization teaching kids how to market their artistic abilities.

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2013 Detroit Design Festival


After a brief hiatus, RogueHAA is back in action for the 2013 Detroit Design Festival. Our installation seeks to activate an empty pocket parking lot in Detroit’s North End with a series of grass terraces combined with blank writing walls. Rather than a creating static object to be viewed from a distance, we propose a literal platform for conversation and reflection. Each section of the installation wall will include a different provocation as a means to catalyze and frame a conversation about the city.

Throughout the festival, visitors will be encouraged to write their ideas, thoughts, challenges, and pictures on the walls of the installation. These will be collected and curated as part of an online gallery to promote engagement with a larger audience, and longevity beyond the festival itself.

The installation will located at 2871 E. Grand Blvd and will open Saturday September 21, at noon. Be sure to check out the rest of the the Festival Happenings here

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Frenetic Urbanism

For a few days last week, the small urban triangle known as Capitol Park and the surrounding area was radically transformed for the filming of Transformers 3. Piles of rubble, explosions, robots, and a new streetscape were installed as part of director Michael Bay’s elaborate set. This sort of temporary urbanism is becoming more and more common as the Michigan film incentive draws site scouts to the area. In upcoming films, Detroit will be portraying Paris, the Soviet Union, Switzerland, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and many other U.S. cities. In recent months residents have witnessed rallies by the ‘Peoples’ Liberation Army’, dramatic life of a retired CIA operative, even stumbled upon a rogue NYC subway station at the Guardian Building. While it is exciting to experience the instant gratification of these fleeting installations, we should not to overlook the slow but lasting progress occurring in urban spaces like Capitol Park.
The Capitol Park Improvement Project, which calls for new paving, landscaping, lighting, and signage, has been underway since last year and is nearing completion. The park is bordered by Griswold, Shelby, and State streets and held the first State Capitol Building in 1837 when Michigan gained statehood. The site functioned as a transit hub from 1955 until the recent completion of the Rosa Parks Transit Center. Now the Downtown Detroit Partnership and the city of Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority have joined with the design firm Merz & Associates to return the park to a public greenspace.

Watching the simultaneous development of fast and slow urban interventions in Capitol Park, one wonders if its possible to coordinate the enormous investment involved in the staging of movie sets to lasting urban benefit. How can the creative freedom and imagination that go into these filmic vignettes be incorporated into planning models and similarly how can urban development projects partner with film crews to more permanently enhance the environments they engage?


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PROJECT.  The Detroit Wildlife Refuge project has been published in the April edition of TOPOS magazine.

CONCEPT. Landscape Urbanism advocates a purposeful discourse between ecological systems, human activities, and the post-industrial landscape, ultimately manifesting in the deliberate celebration of the urban void. This celebration glorifies the interstitial, so that the void is inevitably romanticized by, and is necessary to, the burgeoning Landscape Urbanism profession. Reliance on the void introduces a basic set of dilemmas: In order to focus on the space between buildings, there must be buildings; planning creative programming between infrastructural systems requires existing infrastructure; implementing a proposed hybrid ecology between urban eco-systems and human eco-systems requires human eco-systems. All of these very specific examples result in a single common statement: In order to have an urban void, there first needs to be an urban, or rather a recognizable urban density. Continue reading

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QUESTIONS.  We began with questions that were simple, physical, and topographic.  How do we get down to the River?  Can we redefine the City’s relationship with its River?  Could water be here, between our toes, as well as headed toward our taps?  Can we create joy and utility in the same place?

PROJECT.  The project’s landscape, where the Grand River meets downtown Lansing, has been most valued in the city’s history by reserving it for industrial uses.  The River has been held away by walls, taken in, distributed, harnessed for power, and measured when necessary to keep us dry. 

In a shift of collective thinking mirroring a global trend, Lansing has reevaluated its River-City interface, now reserving it for immediate and intimate public use.  As part of that reassessment of values, the City has charged HAA’s team with the task of creating a new public riverfront along both sides of the Grand River between the Shiawassee Street Bridge and Ottawa Street.  To the west, the project meets the Accident Fund’s new corporate headquarters.  To the east, it interacts with the relocation of Lansing’s City Market.  On both sides, it connects to Lansing’s River Trail.

Continue reading

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