RACKING UP DESIGN AWARDS,
NOT TO MENTION TURNING
HEADS IN ITS HOMETOWN,
THE TRUE NORTH COMMUNITY
IN DETROIT HAS CREATED
A VISUAL EXPERIENCE
AND AN ENTIRELY NEW
WHAT WAS AN ABANDONED
CORNER OF THE CITY.
The development of the
site included the planting
of 35 trees.
(Image: Chris Miele)
Built on land that was overgrown and trash ridden for nearly two decades,
the project is the result of the combined creative power of developer
Philip Kafka of Prince Concepts with EC3: Edwin Chan as design architect and
Studio Detroit as Architect of Record. The 10 Quonset huts that make up
True North are inspired by World War II bunkers but have incorporated
elements of modern architecture to elevate the structures. The community of
huts may appear nearly identical on the exterior but actually include multiple
interior layouts. Even so, according to Prince Concepts, the structures were
delivered to their new tenants in a mostly raw state to inspire the inhabitants
to create a truly personalized experience within their unique walls.
The bulk of the huts are devoted live/work spaces, but the grouping also
includes a wellness center, landscaped outdoor gathering spaces, and two
apartment-style hotel rooms. The project bills itself as providing “space for
self-stimulated people,” referring to the individual huts as residents’ own
personal laboratories. True North also brought nature back to the blighted
25,117-square-foot site by planting 35 trees within the new community.