Detroit Turns Intermodal Shipping Containers to Social Hub

The city of Detroit has always been an innovative place where new ideas have flourished and people value their community. In recent years the efforts to revitalize the downtown and surrounding areas has brought the city to think “outside the box”. Thanks to a local student at Lawrence Technological University and Western International High School, The Dequindre Cut Freight Yard was born.

The Yard as it’s often referred to as now, consists on nine shipping containers that found a new home. The containers are lined up along the riverfront with an additional five more that make-up a central hub. The installations were cleverly designed in a pattern to be visually stimulating, yet functional as well. The central focus was the hub where five shipping containers were stacked on top of each other to house retail space and a DJ booth too. The addition of interesting lighting, unusual furnishing and creative art from local artist combined to form the festive environment for all to enjoy.

Intermodal containers are easily adapted to a project like this because they’re designed to be stacked in the shipping container depots. A permanent structure needs only simple connectors known as ‘twist lock stacking pins’ to securely join them. When the units are side by side horizontal joiners known in the container industry as a ‘bridge fittings’ are utilised to stop containers from moving apart.

These units came to life all summer during 2018 and on the weekends would play host to local vendors, DJs, food trucks and more. The weekly events even hosted a beer garden that made the atmosphere more interesting and full of life. As of now its unclear whether the containers will stay in place all year but from its success the past few months the future looks bright for the containers to make The Yard their permanent home.

In the end, the hopes of this project was for tourist and locals alike to enjoy a new part of the city while also providing a home to its local businesses. The container experiment is just one example of the benefits of building, storing and even re-imagining the normal use for these units. If you are feeling inspired after hearing about this new installation or looking for additional storage, there has never been a better time to start. Here at SHIPPED we’ve helped hundreds of individuals and businesses and we can help you find the perfect container to suit your needs as well.



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