Following the manyÂ interesting developments in Detroit these days, one gets a sense that the cityâ€™s post-industrial landscape is fertile ground for innovative design. A boutique hotel made of shipping containers seems to back up that trend.
Collision Works, as the project is called, touts the structural merits of shipping containers. â€œShipping containers are considerably more durable than standard construction, can cost less, and most importantly are about 30 percent faster to build,â€ writes project founder Shel Kimen.
Similar plans for low-income housing in Detroit built from shipping containers were scrapped during the recession. And there are other precedentsâ€”Steven Flum, who designed a development made of shipping containers in 2007, will advise the project. Distill Studioâ€™s New England â€œBox Officeâ€ has been successful in attracting tenants since it was completed last year. The firmâ€™s Joe Haskett told Core77 they didnâ€™t set out to design a building from containers, but it reduced the projectâ€™s environmental footprint and its bottom line.
Even so Haskett said he worried it would be written off as folly. Good design made sure it wasnâ€™t. Likewise some may view the graffiti-splattered renderings from the Detroit Collaborative Design Center and worry the conceit reinforces â€œruin pornâ€ stereotypes of their city. KOOP Architectsâ€™ design will factor into the final verdict on that, as will the future of the project’s Eastern Market neighborhood. They plan to break ground in spring 2013.
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