Despite being in ruins, piled with trash and possibly sitting atop decades of chemical waste, the Packard Plant remains structurally sound and open to possibility. Its new owner realizes this, and so do architects who see its unlimited potential.

The plant's new owner Fernando Palazuelo has his own ideas for what to do with the space, but the Albert Kahn-designed monolith has no doubt been admired by generation after generation of creatives. The "Reanimate the Ruins" competition, sponsored by Detroit Future City, the Detroit chapter of the American Institute of Architects and several others, invited teams of architects to devise their own plans for the former car factory.

The winning design, seen above, would convert the plant into a retail/residential complex with areas designated for farmland, entertainment, schools and municipal offices.


The second-place winner (and perhaps the most appropriate, considering the plant's original purpose) adds a serpentine-belt design to the existing structure, with urban farmland surrounded by residential and retail options.

The third-place winner departs completely from the harsh chemical effects associated with early plants and instead would convert the space into an ecological, environment-friendly powerhouse, combining urban farming, sewage treatment and scientific research.


More designs can be seen here.