A series of rooftop gardens for a residential building in Detroit


The residential and commercial building John R 2660 is part of the urban development of the Brush Park district in Detroit, which is currently experiencing great urban and cultural growth. The new plan includes buildings of various types and sizes: it is the largest residential project in Detroit in recent decades after the Lafayette Park complex designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1956.

For the development plan, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) created four buildings that fit into the existing urban fabric and incorporate residential and business functions to promote the relationship between community and architecture. The blocks are located on the four corners of the neighborhood and blend in with the context, taking into account the heights and materials of the historic buildings. Brick, metal, and wood siding is common in Detroit.

John R 2660 houses 35 residential units from 40 to 90 m² and a sales area on the ground floor. The structure extends over five levels on the south side and has three levels on the opposite facade to maintain the same proportions as the front-facing Victorian building. Five overlapping volumes define the stepped shape of the building and create roof gardens that are open to the city and are visually connected to the parks in the neighborhood.

The facades are clad in vertical panels of red cedar and cut by full-height windows. The vertical elements play with the horizontality of the dark metal bands of the volumes, while the self-supporting first level creates a covered passage around the building.


Dusty Kennedy