Indoor+outdoor cafe at east garden. Elevated structure provides visual anchor for new entry & protects outdoor area for cafe.
Garden entry from Woodward Avenue. Two large windows offer views from Detroit's main artery into MOCAD's art spaces.
Section drawing of urban-scaled, deep-framed windows with integrated seat that help connect MOCAD's galleries to Woodward Avenue.
Gallery 1 looking north. The raw gallery character is preserved and enhanced with new large viewing windows that visually open the gallery to Woodward Avenue.
Rooftop art & events terrace looking south. Elevated outdoor program space surrounded by tall grasses with view of downtown Detroit.
Component axonometric. The independent rooftop pavilion structure frames a new southern entry and Culture Hub below. New perimeter signage & windows add to the accumulated character that gives MOCAD its distinctive character.
Logics of concept design. Reorienting the museum to integrate with garden, solar orientation and urban circulation routes.
Welcome desk from the Culture Hub. New refined interior elements contrast with the raw industrial shed.
Culture Hub with cafe and open stair to new exhibition space above. The new indoor/outdoor colonnade provides spatial definition for the event space while maintaining the rich character of the existing shed.
South outdoor art+event space with landscaped bleachers. Public threshold links Woodward with Garfield, Midtown Loop & Sugar Hill Walkway. © R+L & JCFO
Culture Hub. New colonnade overlaps the building's southeast corner providing definition for MOCAD's robust indoor/outdoor events.


Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit, MI

MOCAD, designed by the collaborative team of Rice+Lipka Architects and James Corner Field Operations (R+L/JCFO), re-envisions the museum's Albert Kahn-designed industrial shed building and exterior surrounds as an expanded cultural center that opens up to and fully engages the surrounding community. R+L/JCFO's design and masterplan, based on the acquisition of adjacent property just to the museum's south (now a parking lot), provides a refreshed identity, reconceptualized program and new organization for MOCAD. In a seeming paradox, the project seeks be completely transformative, even as it preserves MOCAD's raw, industrial edge.

The project includes new and expanded museum entry, exhibition & event spaces, café, support & administrative functions, as well as generous outdoor art & event spaces that open directly onto Woodward Avenue for the first time. The new vision for infrastructure and grounds will work to invigorate MOCAD's already robust music & arts programming and community engagement, and position the museum as an energetic catalyst for the resurgence of Midtown.

R+L/JCFO's design has been recognized with the 2014 New York State Design Award of Excellence in the Unbuilt category, the 2013 Architectural Review Future Projects Award for the category of “Old & New”, and honored with a special mention in the Architizer A+ Awards for the “Architecture +Urban Transformation” category. The design is cited by the Future Project jury as “an inspirational project that combines past and present in a well resolved and convincing manner. It creates new space for new creativity in a post-industrial city.”

The proposal is funded by a LINC/Ford Foundation Space for Change grant.

Lyn Rice and Astrid Lipka, Principals
Benjamin Cadena, Associate
Patrick Burke, Jordan Prosser, Simon Ng, Xin Wu, design team

James Corner Field Operations

Robert Silman Associates