Detroit Symphony Orchestra Hall & Master Plan
Peter Rose + Partners was asked to provide master planning services for a four block precinct surrounding Detroit’s Symphony Orchestra Hall, as well as first phase architectural designs for a renovation and expansion to the Orchestra Hall and a new affiliated Performing Arts High School.
The first phase included an investigation of the project in terms of historical scale and future potential of the area. The major goals of project plans are to:
1) Research and clearly represent the historical evolution of the city and site in order to situate the project’s historical significance.
2) Identify and carefully document the remaining architectural resources within the district which could act as catalysts for future growth.
3) Weave the interests of the local Catholic Parish and neighboring Woodward Medical Center into the project in order to broaden its base of support and connect neighboring constituencies.
4) Develop a series of urban design guidelines and specific architectural proposals which would begin to counteract the forces of decreased density, automobile reliance, under-utilization of existing building resources and lack of connection between neighboring constituencies. This included the study of phased construction of mixed-use projects, development of open park space, reorganization of parking and vehicular circulation strategies.
The second part of the project involved plans for the full restoration of the historic Symphony Hall, the design of an addition to the Symphony Hall and the design of the Performing Arts School on an adjacent lot. These projects were understood to be the first phase in the implementation of the master plan. The new facilities included classroom and rehearsal spaces, a 700-seat recital hall, expanded entry, a café, new administrative offices, back of house service areas and an enclosed courtyard. Extensive programming studies and documents were produced and presented to the various user groups within the Symphony organization. Care was taken to involve surrounding neighborhood groups, and to respond to these groups’ concerns as the project developed. Given the complexity of problems facing the area, it was felt that these first phase construction projects would be critical to the master plan’s success. These designs, along with the master plan, formed an optimistic guidebook to future development and revitalization for the area.