Rebuilding Detroit With 3D Holograms

June 6, 2016

Detroit's abandoned buildings have a new resurrection tool.

Detroit has thousands of abandoned buildings from residential to commercial to manufacturing plants. One such factory, the Packard Plant, was built in 1903 and abandoned in 1953 when the Packard Car Company went out of business.

In April 2015, Trimble and Microsoft combined HoloLens technology with the Connect platform for use in building information modeling (BIM). Their intention was to create a new set of tools to help the AEC industry move beyond 2D computer screens to 3D models in physical space.


When Greg Lynn's company, Greg Lynn FORM, was assigned to the renovation of the mile-long, 3.5 million square foot  abandoned Packard plant, he decided to use augmented reality (AR) to make a physical model of his ideas for the Packard Plant Project. “The biggest problem an architect has is getting from the screen into physical space,” said Greg Lynn of Greg Lynn FORM, studio professor at UCLA’s School of Architecture and Urban Design. “How do I bring some of that virtual stuff and lock it to a physical model to give us a sense of scale, proportion, form and space?”

What this technology allows his team to do is amazing. Read more of's 'How an Architect Used BIM and Augmented Reality to Reimagine Detroit' story here.