The TechTown Living Room will be an exciting new public space that will serve as the heart of Midtown's TechTown innovation district. The Living Room transforms a parking lot at Cass Street and Burroughs Street into an active and dynamic public space. It connects directly into the TechTown's new co-working space, which will be home to more than 400 entrepreneurs. It also uses dynamic programming and a cafe to help bring together the more than 10,000 people who work, live, or go to school within a few blocks of the site. The design effort is led by Sasaki, in collaboration with U3 Ventures, Midtown Detroit, Inc., and Rebar Art and Design Studio.
The Living Rooms design features vibrant colors and social furniture elements to foster TechTown's spirit of collaboration, ideas, and innovation. A retail cube offers space for TechTown's Labs Venture Accelerator program, which will provide entrepreneurs with a venue to showcase their products and make them available to the public. Furniture elements will be produced locally by Detroit furniture makers, and materials will be primarily reclaimed. Native plant species—like fruit trees—encourage the growth and education of TechTown's local urban community.
The Living Room's engaging design and active programming aims to have a catalytic effect on the district and ensure there is a place for casual collisions between the district's many entrepreneurs, students, researchers, and creative businesses.
The Living Room was born out of the TechTown District Plan, which envisions a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood and leverages the neighborhood's existing anchors: Henry Ford Health System, Wayne State University, TechTown (the district's eponymous business accelerator), Next Energy, and the College for Creative Studies.