Interface Zero Detroit
Hiblom Towers is a shipping container living community.
Built 30 years ago as a social improvement project sponsored by DHL International, Hiblom Towers covers four city blocks in Detroit’s West Side. Originally it was intended to revitalize rotted urban environments by providing modern, low-cost housing and commercial space. Each tower was to consist of coeccentric rectangles of 40 ft shipping containers, stacked four on a long side, three on the short side and five containers high. They would be reinforced with concrete and insulation, provided with HVAC, power and plumbing to make dozens of apartments and shops.
Hiblom was one of many similar projects in different cities, all with the same intent and funding. Most were plagued by substandard work and low-bid contracting. By the time the projects were finished most were behind schedule and over budget. The facades were far from ‘modern’ and the areas were less desirable than when they were first sited