MOCAD selects James Corner Field Operations & Rice+Lipka Architects for major renovation

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) have selected James Corner Field Operations and Rice+Lipka Architects (RLA/JCFO) to plan a building and site renovation that has been funded by a LINC/Ford Foundation Space for Change grant.

The goal of this process is to refurbish MOCAD’s facility and transform the site to activate the exterior by way of an outdoor space for Museum programming and improved visibility on the building’s Woodward frontage.

Part of RLA/JCFO’s proposal for the space includes the design of new entry points to the Museum, the development of a strong and memorable presence on Woodward Avenue, the Maintenance of space flexibility and the fostering of a welcoming environment for visitors. By intervening into the existing 22,000-square-foot structure, RLA/JCFO will preserve the raw character of the facility and amplify its strengths while providing a fresh identity and addressing current needs.

MOCAD, RLA/JCFO and community stakeholders will now begin discussions to more specifically address the needs of the Museum and community. RLA/JCFO will then enter a series design drafts to be reviewed and approved. The planning process began in mid-January 2012 and is expected to wrap up in late June.

“Our RLA+JCFO team is thrilled to be selected by MOCAD for this visioning project that has such great potential to inspire and engage the community,” said Lyn Rice, Principal. “We are excited to start work weaving together the Museum’s programs, exquisite industrial character, and exterior surrounds to create vibrant, interior and exterior spaces for experiencing art. MOCAD is a unique civic place with an irresistible combination of contemporary artworks, landscape and programmatic vitality that will nurture the neighborhood and enhance the urban experience in the district.”

The Museum has stated that it is confident in the selection of RLA/JFCO to continue its work in providing an important and ever-evolving resource to its community and furthering its influence as a cutting-edge, world-class museum on an international scale.

Once the planning process is completed, MOCAD is poised to move into the construction phase with financial support that includes a $350,000 grant award from Art Place. A Preliminary timeline calls for construction to begin in 2013.

IMAGE CREDIT: Rice+Lipka Architects and James Corner Field Operations (RLA/JCFO)

About Damian Holmes 5567 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at