One of Detroit's most ambitious urban farms will soon have an urban farmhouse to match. As part of its "Plant Cities" grant program, GM is funding a shipping container "urban homestead" for the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI), best known for its large farm in the North End neighborhood. It's on the corner of Brush and Custer.
Shipping container architecture is an oft-discussed, rarely implemented strategy in Detroit. GM is going all-out to get some good PR milage out of this thing, 85% of which will be produced with scrap materials from GM's Hamtramck Assembly Plant. Expect to be impressed.
The finished homestead container will contain 320 square feet of living space with two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a giant GM sign. Not bad! Those "scrapped materials" include sound-deadening insulation typically used in cars and wood taken from shipping pallets. Officials say it could debut as soon as this fall.
Detroit-based TAKD Design and Integrity Building Group are on point. It sounds like most of the homestead will partially assembled at the Hamtramck Assembly Plant, after which it will be moved a couple miles to the farm. A "student caretaker" (intern) will live inside year-round and tend to the farm itself. The goal of a sustainable shipping container structure has long been a goal of MUFI, though their aspirations go beyond this project. A gutted apartment building across the street is envisioned as as a future community center.