The Rosa Parks Transit Center, named in honor of the civil rights legend, is a $22.5 million multimodal facility in downtown Detroit, designed by WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff on behalf of the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT).
The city embarked on an aggressive downtown initiative focused on presenting a vibrant image for the future of Detroit. One element of the redevelopment is creating a functional and appealing city transportation system. Development of a downtown transit center was viewed as a key element to the city transportation system, serving as a transfer point for multiple transportation modes and systems. This also satisfied DDOT’s goal of having an intermodal facility that went beyond the practical function of a bus station—and serves as a civic landmark within an urban context. The award-winning structure is a destination itself, offering travelers an innovative vision of what Detroit is and what it will become.
Completed in July 2009, the facility occupies a 2.4-acre site and includes an enclosed 25,700-square-foot building with a central passenger concourse serving 15 bus bays. The inspiration for the building’s sharply angled roof line juxtaposed with its adjacent softly curved canopy is based on an airplane wing in the clouds, according to the center’s architect. The station is highlighted by seven cloud-like fabric canopies. Floors are made of colored concrete, hardened for durability and polished for a high-tech look. Interior walls are made of burnished concrete block that resembles rough-cut stone.
We were responsible for conceptual and final design and provided construction-phase services on behalf of DDOT.