Glass Mural Building Slated for Detroit’s Eastern Market


Construction of the Glass Mural, a four-story retail and office building, is expected to begin next year and features artwork by a Canadian and a Detroit artist. // Rendering courtesy of MVRDV

Detroit’s Eastern Market neighborhood is located at the intersection of Russell and Division Streets and will be home to a unique retail and office development known as the Glass Mural. The first phase of the project began on September 30th and construction is scheduled to start in 2021.

The glass mural, a four-story building with a glass facade, is a project by LS Brinker Co. that features colorful, printed glass exterior walls to celebrate existing murals and add new artistic works to the district. MVRDV, a global architecture firm, plans to design the building using a stack of sliding glass blocks.

“We loved the idea of ​​the artworks that bring this area to life, and this building is our homage to that character immortalized through a printing technique,” ​​says Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV. “It allows us to interact with the spirit of the neighborhood in playful and unexpected ways. This allows for a greater degree of fidelity to the original work of art to be recreated, as well as greater artistic freedom for the new work of art. “

There is currently a two story brick building on the site with an earlier mural designed by DENIAL, a Canadian artist. MVRDV suggests preserving this mural by recreating it on a new glass canvas and stretching it around all four sides of the new building.

“I am of the opinion that the physical integration of the original public work of art into the glass architecture of the building is about the permanent preservation of an idea for the future that can be experienced as a short-lived art form,” says DENIAL. “Bringing the artwork and history of the building into the building’s new imagination is a beautiful tribute to a true era of change in the Eastern Market District and for Detroit.”

The top half of the building contrasts slightly with a newly commissioned mural by Sheefy McFly, one of Detroit’s finest emerging creative talents. Both murals use glass printing techniques to combine colorful artwork with transparent areas. In addition, there will be a dedicated area of ​​the building, completely empty and not made of glass, so that various artists can paint murals on it over time.

Glass Mural will provide retail space on the ground floor for local and Michigan-based businesses. The top three floors are available for office or other commercial purposes. A rooftop area will be a convenience for tenants, offering 360 degree views of Eastern Market and the Detroit skyline.

MVRDV is a global corporate architecture and urban planning practice addressing contemporary architectural and urban issues. It was founded in 1993 in the Netherlands. His selection was the result of a collaboration between FIRM Real Estate and Architecture Talent Agency in Detroit.


Dusty Kennedy