Out and About in Detroit
Incoming APLD president, Susan Cohan, gives us an introduction to the public spaces and gardens of Detroit.
In the lively center of downtown Detroit, Camp Maritus Park is a lively, fun, and visually surprising summer treat. Designated in 2010 as one of the best public spaces in the United States, it offers a full range of outdoor experiences in the summer. Winter ice skating rinks become a sandy beach populated with young families and local hipsters as well as an outdoor stage with a Tiki Hut and neighboring bistro with outdoor dining that borders a large central fountain. The Chase Building, adjacent to the park has a public lounge area complete with offbeat canine inspired planters and brightly colored outdoor furniture. The lounge, which is popular day and night, was conceived by Kelly Deines from Rossetti Architects and implemented by Deborah Silver & Co.
Also downtown is Lafayette Greens, an urban garden that promotes biodiversity and urban greening on every level. It was designed by local landscape architect, Ken Weikal.
Metropolitan Detroit is measured by roads with names that note just how far they are from the city center. On the way out of downtown, the public spaces at DTE Energy Headquarters embrace simplicity. Designed by Grissim, Metz & Andriese, the showpiece is a large water feature viewable from the street. Adjacent is an interesting hidden meditative space open to the public. Mounds of turf and sedum form a sculptural landscape that is a distant relative of medieval labyrinths.