The landscape of Core City changed four years ago with the addition of True North, a development of Quonset huts. Architect Edwin Chan of EC3 and developer Philip Kafka are once again collaborating on a new development off of Grand River.
This new residential project, just approved by the planning department, will bring 30 rental units across an array of buildings (21,325 square feet) along 15th Street. Kafka's Prince Concepts is partnering with the Ferlito Group on development.
Chan's main goal in designing this project was to create community. "The site plan is organized around several existing trees, and the architecture is used to frame the landscape," he says.
Natural light is a feature; each unit can receive light from three sides. Chan says a central outdoor spine connects all units with outdoor living rooms, converging urbanism with nature. More trees will be planted to add more lushness to the landscape.
Kafka, whose Prince Concepts owns property across the neighborhood, describes the development as "a traditional multi-family build, deconstructed." Public green spaces and "outdoor public rooms" will take the place of lobbies and hallways. Parking is not next to the buildings; it will be offsite on adjacent lots they own. Trees play an important role in the development-as they do in all of their developments. He says 80% of the project will be public green space.
Chan's inspiration comes from Mies van der Rohe's LaFayette Park here in Detroit, early Le Corbusier in Bordeaux and Stuggart, the Hutongs (communal alleys) in China, and Donald Judd in Marfa, Texas.
Stucco will be the primary exterior finish. Chan is studying colors right now, but the exterior facing the street could be a neutral off-white, with more colorful walls facing the community spots.
No word yet on cost of construction or cost of apartments. They expect to break ground on the development in June.