Foundations 19 – Infrastructure Space

54 Planetary scale mobile workshop The automobile was not invented in Detroit, but it was first mass produced here. The success of the car industry is long since history – so Jerry Herron and Aaron Martin took the participants mainly on a journey through the past. The first stop was the Ford Rouge Assem- bly Plant. Designed by Albert Kahn and built in 1928, this factory became world famous for integrated production: Base materials were fed in one end and finished cars rolled out the other. At one time, 100,000 people worked in the 93 buildings, some of which are gigantic. They produced their own electricity and made their own steel. Today only a few automobiles are manufactured here. The Ford Highland Park Plant, also designed by Kahn, makes an even drearier impression. Here Ford began building the legendary Model T in 1910. This plant, today entirely abandoned, changed the face of the world – in the 1920s half of the world’s cars were made here. The third stop of the mobile workshop was then more alluring: In the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant the young Henry Ford developed the Model T and its predecessor models. An impressive museum is located here today. The final stop in the city center was particularly architecturally stimulating: The Michigan Building a former giant luxury cinema is being used as a banal parking garage. Deterioration is pervasive in Detroit – but here the extent is downright absurd.