Detroit Culinary Center, 2013

Cardinal O'Boyle Foreign Studies Competition, studio finalist, overall finalist



The genesis of this project began through in-depth analysis of Detroit’s urban condition. After extensive conversation and debate, key issues, such as Detroit’s lack of sufficient grocery stores within its downtown district, were flushed out and explored further. This project looks to Detroit’s vast, mostly unoccupied residential blocks as a generator for culinary change. An ambitious group of urban farmers have claimed these open plots, cultivating the land to grow fresh produce. Yet, lack of a formal market area close to downtown prohibits the larger farming community from selling a majority of their crop to those in need.



The Detroit Culinary Center provides urban farmers this formal market space. Located at the ground level, guests can meander through the market’s generous open plan. Movable display cases allows for endless configurations for vendors to display their produce during market hours. Above, a culinary incubator provides those interested in the culinary profession a kitchen to test dishes, which can be purchased by guests. The single dining hall surrounds the kitchens, providing guests with a variety of seating options. The essence of the project is best understood in section: below, farmers sell fresh and seasonal produce, while directly above, chefs transform these raw ingredients into delectable meals.