HEKKTA’s Property Portal – Detroit

HEKKTA‘s Property Portal gives you a bitesize update on all the property & architecture news stories from around the world. This week we focus on some of the developments underway in the city of Detroit, aswell as glancing at this year’s RIBA architecture awards.


Snøhetta are set to transform the Michigan Central Station in Detroit and turn it into a research and innovation centre for car manufacturer Ford. Completed in 1913, the structure was built by firms Warren & Wetmore and Reed & Stem – both of which are credited with designing Grand Central Terminal in New York City. However the station has been in disrepair for 30 years since Amtrak last used it, but now it will become an innovation centre, or “collaborative ecosystem” of professionals working to develop self-driving vehicles. The Corktown Campus project will 1.2 million square feet and is part of Ford’s wider $1 billion capital improvements project.

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Ford's new Detroit innovation centre - HEKKTA

Ford’s new Detroit innovation centre – HEKKTA


American architecture studio EC3 have created an innovative residential development in Core City, a quiet neighbourhood that sits a few miles west of the downtown district. The True North complex is the neighbourhood’s first new construction project in over 60 years. The development is a collection of Quonset hubs shaped similarly to pigstys, which are made out of steel and polycarbonate panels. Building the True North complex only took a year and it joins a new trend growing of quicker and more sustainable living solutions, such as the shipping container parks and homes currently gaining plaudits.

True North, Detroit - HEKKTA

True North, Detroit – HEKKTA


The Royal Institute of British Architects has announced the 49 winners of its national awards, including the Tate St Ives, Bloomberg’s Foster + Partners-designed London HQ, and a housing development in old gasholders. Recognising the best buildings of the past 12 months, the RIBA National Awards 2018 includes major public and commercial projects from the Britain’s major cities to private buildings in remote locations.


RIBA have also named their 20 homes in the House of the Year longlist. The award goes to a new build or extension that are examples of excellent British architecture. The homes chosen for the lost vary between a home built in an old gin distillery and a house inspired by a piano.


Experts say that the fire that destroyed the famous Glasgow School of Art has been damaged become repair. The only option now is to rebuild, and they predict this could cost over £100 million.


Berkeley Group announce record annual profits of nearly £1bn, but remain coy about their success as they predict that profits are likely to fall in the coming year by about a third as Brexit uncertainty weighs on the capital’s housing market.


Construction tops out for Jean Nouvel’s New York skyscraper; the 53W53 Tower. The building will stand at 1,050 feet (320 metres) tall when completed and will join a number of residential towers in Midtown Manhattan that are categorised as supertall, such as Rafael Viñoly’s 432 Park Avenue and Christian de Portzamparc’s One57.

Jean Nouvel's 53w53 tower - HEKKTA - Detroit

Jean Nouvel’s 53w53 tower – HEKKTA – Detroit


UK property funds recover from post-Brexit vote shock.


A new cable car connecting Amsterdam-West and Amsterdam-Noord across the River IJ has been designed by Dutch architecture firm UNStudio. The notoriously tricky city to travel around, due to the fact it is built around a maze of canals, is expanding rapidly and the need for quick and effective connections is growing by the day. This new 1,500 metre long cable car will connect the two regions in under five minutes. The look of the car and it’s operational use is very similar to the Gothenburg Cable Car that UNStudio announced earlier this year. Travelling at 13.4 miles per hour, the cable car’s cabins could hold up to 37 passengers on the 4.6 minute journey across Amsterdam and there will even be additional bicycle cabins which can hold four to six bikes.

Amsterdam Cable Car - HEKKTA - Detroit

Amsterdam Cable Car – HEKKTA – Detroit


Seaside hotspots, such as Sandbanks and Salcombe, are seeing quite a significant fall in house prices. The boating haven of Salcombe in South Devon has seen prices fall by 8.2%, and in Sandbanks in Dorset, renowned for being the UK’s most expensive resort, prices are down 5.6%.


David Chipperfield Architects have completed their absolutely stunning and clever office tower in the South Korean capital of Seoul. The building, which is home to Korean beauty giant Amorepacific, has a large void in the centre to facilitate a garden in the sky or a “hanging garden” as the architecture firm called it. Not a bad place to sit and have your lunch break!

Amorepacific Seoul HQ - HEKKTA - Detroit

Amorepacific Seoul HQ – HEKKTA – Detroit

David Chipperfield Architects' Hanging Gardens - HEKKTA - Detroit

David Chipperfield Architects’ Hanging Gardens – HEKKTA – Detroit


The chief executive of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea told survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster that the council had been behaving like “a property developer masquerading as a local authority”, MPs have been told.


Footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs’ £200m St Michael’s skyscraper scheme in Manchester has got the green light to go ahead. The main feature of the scheme is the 39 storey tower which will contain a five star, 200-bed hotel and nearly 190 luxury flats above.

St Michaels - HEKKTA - Detroit

St Michaels – HEKKTA – Detroit