We will be building 36 hotel rooms, the co-working and event space all from repurposed shipping containers. A first and logical question people ask is: Why new construction? Detroit is full of empty buildings! It’s true. But those empty buildings aren’t always in the right place, or the right size, or in a condition that’s manageable to make safe. And besides, we are trying to make something new here.
Detroit was once the logistics capital of the world, shipping more in and out than anywhere else. Fort Street is lined with the relics. Let’s take this readily available and familiar material and use it as the foundation to collect our stories, our past histories and our dreams for the future.
There is a huge precedence for shipping container architecture in Europe and increasing projects in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. There are even a few being planned now around town here in Detroit.
Shipping containers are considerably more durable than standard construction, can cost less, and most importantly are about 30% faster to build. We’ll be using this project as an opportunity to teach local builders and designers about the process. So as we get to building in the spring, expect to hear about public workshops for people interested.
We’ve selected George Cooper from KOOP AM as the Architect of Record. He’s designed and built several shipping container projects and you can see some of his work here. He’s working with Jen Petersen who already spends a lot of time in Detroit with family. And we are continuing a collaboration with the Detroit Collaborative Design Center.
Corissa Leveille at the DCDC who also runs the Detroit Tourists Facebook group did some amazing concept renderings for us. While we have a lot of work to design the actual building, involving advisors, community members, and others who will actually use the space, these images will give you a hint of what it could eventually become. See more pictures on our facebook page!