FTL created an urban plaza, covered by a sustainable skin to define space, washed with day lighting and harvesting rain water. Transcending infrastructure to sculpture. There was a much needed desire to create a iconic public space which energizes the urban fabric, helping in uplifting run-down attitudes, partly developing a design that was a drastic departure from the old as well as most of the new, mediocre architecture around.
The new Rosa Parks Transit Center includes a passenger terminal, a roof canopy covering a drop off and outdoor waiting area which will play a pivotal role in providing alternate means of public transportation to the greater Detroit area. The architect, Parson Brinkerhoff, MI, a pioneer in transportation facilities, invited FTL Design and Engineering Studio to be part of their team to develop an “elegant and contemporary canopy”.
FTL developed a design approach that uses flowing canopies to create an active visual space and naturally day light space which challenges the conventional notion of roof where the membrane both hovers 50 ft in space, and in other areas brought to ground and to act as a giant water collector. To create rhythm, the proposed scheme was broken down into seven repetitive bays, each approximately 110’ long and 50 ft wide. Each bay is comprised of two trusses, an A frame and fabric which is pulled down, transforming the roof into a wall and encompassing a courtyard.