OMA and the Library Street Collective are unveiling plans for an expanded art space in Detroit at a former bakery

The Library Street Collective (LSC) Gallery of Contemporary Art is further upgrading its vision of reviving Detroit’s East Village as a community-oriented cultural core of Motor City. As announced late last week, LSC, itself housed in the historic LB King and Company building in downtown Detroit, bought a long-vacant industrial building at 9301 Kercheval Avenue – which previously housed a commercial bakery and warehouse – and transformed is a multiple art center with art studios, galleries, offices for a couple of local art nonprofits and a creative retail space.

LSC’s redesign of the 1900s-era structure into a bustling art center is the latest in a series of high-profile adaptive reuse projects led by OMA Director Jason Long, including POST Houston (the first phase opened for praise last November) and the recently announced Pompidou Center x Jersey City. Long from the OMA office in New York is joined by collaborator Chris Yoon and project architect Samuel Biroscak. The Metro CAD Group of Detroit serves as executive architect.

A current view of the Detroit East Village estate. (Jason Keen / Courtesy Library Street Collective)
Aerial view of 9301 Kercheval Avenue after conversion into a multi-purpose community arts center. (© OMA and Luxigon)

Named LANTERN, the project comes just months after the LSC announced its plans for Shepherd, a bustling 2.5-acre campus for a growing East Village cultural district anchored by a 111-year-old Romanesque Catholic church that is converting (with a distinctly pious touch) into the artistic and social space of the Peterson Rich Office. Outside, church grounds and adjacent vacant land will also become a lushly planted public green space designed by the New York OSD. Other notable elements of the Shepherd campus are a planned sculpture garden named after legendary late Detroit artist Charles McGee, a public space skatepark-slash-community designed by Tony Hawk with McArthur Binion, a lawn for events, a bed and breakfast housed in the old parish church. and more.

Meanwhile, just a five-minute walk along McClellan Avenue from the Shepherd campus at the factory, LANTERN will have a total program area of ​​21,400 square feet.

Much of the revived footprint of the dilapidated building (about 8,500 square feet) will be dedicated to serving the new headquarters for Signal-Return, a nonprofit letterpress printing company currently located in the Eastern Market, and PASC (Progressive Arts Studio Collective), a Detroit program for people with a disability STEP ranked as the first art studio and exhibition program in Detroit / Wayne County that is exclusively dedicated to supporting adults with developmental disabilities and mental health differences. Together, the two nonprofits will anchor OMA’s restored industrial space, with PASC gaining extensive new excavations that will include a new gallery, studio space and workshops, and Signal-Return will populate a new leading location in the East Village that will “ provide an opportunity to further expand its program, which includes hands-on workshops, exhibitions, educational partnerships, and the sale of graphics, ephemeral, and gifts that focus primarily on the work of Detroit artists, ”according to a recent press release.

Existing view of the future yard area. (© OMA and Luxigon)
making industrial buildings turned into an art space connected by a large courtyard
View of the yard and the public alley on LAMPION. (© OMA and Luxigon)

“The core of our mission in East Village is focused on creating an inclusive art-focused community,” LSC co-founder Anthony Curis said in a statement. “Progressive Art Studio Collective (PASC) and Signal-Return are two very influential non-profit organizations that provide vital support and inspiration to the local art community. We are delighted to welcome them to the neighborhood. ”

“PASC and Signal-Return are outstanding organizations with multiple approaches to community building through the arts,” Long added. “To support and enhance their ambitions, we are both turning the building into ourselves and the neighborhood to bring a new density of activity and creative life to the East Village.”

Joining the new double non-profit headquarters in LANTERN will be, as already mentioned, a gallery space of 1000 square meters, 5300 square meters dedicated to art studios and 4000 square meters of retail and restaurant space.

a boarded-up warehouse building in Detroit as seen from the street
View of the existing building from Kercheval and McClellan. (© OMA and Luxigon)
arranging a historic brick building converted into a business space
Main entry point in Kercheval and McClellan. (© OMA and Luxigon)

At the heart of the new cultural complex, OMA has envisioned a 2,000-square-foot outdoor public courtyard that will serve as an “accessible community space and a condenser of activities”. The courtyard space is used by a part of the existing building in a very neglected condition, the final wall and the roof are missing. As a press release, further detailed, walled up and lined parts of the building’s facade (and there are many) will be removed to allow for operational fenestration, while windows in the gallery space will be extruded to serve as art showcases.

Last but not least, on the corner of Kercherval and McClellan streets, windowless concrete masonry will not get the appropriate new windows – instead, 1,500 holes will be drilled in existing walls and filled with cylindrical glass blocks. At night, this “monolithic field of openings” will be illuminated, which will additionally give the newborn building the look of the light source of the same name.

the facade of a long warehouse building with concrete walls and graffiti
Existing southern facade of Kercheval 9301 (© OMA and Luxigon)
showing the facade of a building with many holes that glow at night
The south facade will contain 1,500 holes drilled in the concrete wall, which will give the building a great look like a lantern. (© OMA and Luxigon)

The project timeline for LANTERN has not yet been announced.

Leave a Comment