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First Container Thinking Outside and Inside the Box

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Photography by Chris and Michelle Gerard

What's life like inside a furnished shipping container? A little cushier than you might think. See it with your own eyeballs at Eastern Market, where a bright blue shipping container was recently installed on Russell Street. Known as First Container, the living-room-in-a-box is the brainchild of Shel Kimen, the force behind a shipping container hotel planned for a vacant lot in Eastern Market. First Container is sort of a prototype (and eventual piece) of the future hotel. In short, it's there to build hype and convince people that shipping containers can be things humans spend time in comfortably.

Designed by KOOP AM, this one successfully raised $41,064 via Kickstarter earlier this year. The interior finishes are entirely sourced from the Detroit Metro area--that wood was scrap leftover from another jobsite. "We basically reused someone's trash," Kimen told Curbed. "It would've been trash otherwise."


First Container has seen a large number of visitors thus far. Some come for the free WiFi, others are simply wondering what a shipping container is doing in the middle of Eastern Market . "A lot of people are curious," said Kimen. "True to my hopes for the project, it's been people of all stripes." First Container is open every Friday from 10AM-6PM, and Saturday 8AM-4PM.
· First Container [Official]
· Shipping Container Hotel Bringing Prototype to Flower Day [Curbed Detroit]