The Motor City has 33,529 vacant houses. To most of the country, that’s 33,529 reasons to wring its hands over What To Do About Detroit. To architects, it’s a gold mine.
Five research fellows from the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning transformed an abandoned house in Hamtramck (which is basically Detroit) into their very own lab rat. The recent architecture grads gave it new stairs, walls, glazing, rooms — the works. But it wasn’t some heroic attempt to build shelter for down and outs, which a lot of architecture schools are into these days. It was a pure design exercise — one aimed at rethinking the conventions of a single-family home — and it shows how much creativity you can draw from the great arsenal of Detroit’s ruins.
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