This is a proposal for a new 40 unit Live/Work development in the Eastern Market District of Detroit, Michigan. Made up of 250 shipping containers, this project aims to set an example for Detroit, and new urban environments through adaptive reuse and creative planning. In order for a development to be successful, it must fit in with the character of the neighborhood it’s located in. Eastern Market is a vibrant oasis in a city of destruction and decay. Bright colors mixed with gritty sheds make up the majority of this district. It is this character which makes the shipping container so applicable as they tend to show wear and are of unique color. They also happen to be modular and very cheap making them particularly attractive for housing applications. The 250 containers for this project will be selected and placed on site in it’s final configuration, uncut and not yet adapted for housing.
Once the containers are in place, clients can pick and choose the columns in which they would like to purchase. The modular building unit allows for clients to easily add on or modify their spaces. A larger store may want 3 columns where an boutique shop may only require 1 or 2. Once the columns are purchased, clients can either pick from an array of preplanned layouts, or choose to have a custom plan created by professionals. In this way, a unified street front will be maintained yet with an unpredictable variability brought on by the client’s choices. In todays economy, it isn’t uncommon for brand new homes to sit empty for months, even years before massive price breaks bring in a new owner. Because each unit is not completely constructed before the unit is sold, this development has a very low start-up cost. Also, if units take a while to sell, the neighborhood can easily progress as the street front remains colorful and unified. Progress will be easily visible as the columns come to life with new storefronts and new residents. Units that are waiting for buyers can be rented out as storage for the other building retailers and residents until the units are purchased.
Below is the first iteration of this exercise. It is in the continued state of development and is intended to represent an idea. Potential unit plans are the next iteration in this exercise.