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Newlab at Michigan Central

The Newlab at Michigan Central, a collaborative effort by Civilian Projects, is a landmark development in Detroit, United States. This architectural marvel, situated in the iconic Art Deco Book Depository building, stands as a testament to the innovative fusion of historic and modern design. The project, completed in 2023, occupies an expansive area of 270,000 square feet and features photography by Brian W. Ferry. Gensler played a crucial role as the Architect of Record, while Planterra Interior Landscaping contributed to the landscape design.




(C) Brian W Ferry


This ambitious initiative, led by Civilian Projects, has transformed the historic structure into a cutting-edge hub of innovation, focused on sustainable and equitable solutions in mobility and society. As the first significant component of a broader vision to establish a mobility innovation district in Detroit, this project has become a central feature around the Michigan Central Train Station. It's not just a space for work; it's a hub for inventors and entrepreneurs to come together and create.


The interior design by Civilian Projects pays homage to the building's history while embracing the contemporary needs of its occupants. The design philosophy intertwines with the architectural heritage of the region, particularly the influence of Albert Kahn, the building's original designer. Kahn's work, known for its rational proportions and minimal ornamentation, has left an indelible mark on the region and the design of the Newlab.


The renovation led by Civilian and Gensler has preserved the essence of the original structure, from its detailed brick façade to its concrete interiors. The design creates a harmonious blend of workspaces, fostering collaboration and innovation. Notably, the project includes a large event space, a robotics and prototyping facility, and various studios and lounges, all designed to facilitate interaction and creativity.


The Newlab also features an interior tree-fern park, offering a unique green space within the urban environment. The furniture selection by Civilian Projects includes a mix of American design classics and bespoke pieces, reflecting a deep appreciation for both historical and contemporary design aesthetics.


This project stands as a symbol of Detroit's ongoing revitalization and innovation, marking a significant step in the city's journey towards becoming a leading center for mobility and technological advancement. For more information on this transformative project, you can explore further details and images online.


Source: Archdaily

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