There’s nothing like it in the Near Southside: eight Quonset huts (you know, those semi-cylindrical steel structures similar to those used by the military in WWII) lined up, surrounded by restaurants, shops, offices, and a public park.
It’s PS1200, a project currently under construction at 1200 Sixth Ave. and is expected to open in October. The development covers a total of 22,500 square feet, with eight residential units (the Quonset huts) as pillars, with 5,500 square feet of office space and three retail locations. The folks behind Spiral Diner across the street also have two vegan concepts, a restaurant called Maiden and a dessert shop, Dreamboat Donuts.
Spearheading the project are Detroit-based real estate development company Prince Concepts, architectural firm Marlon Blackwell Architects and landscape architect Julie Bargmann of studio DIRT, as well as Studio Outside.
Prince Concepts President Philip Kafka is from Lone Star State.
“I am delighted to bring Prince Concepts’ development philosophy and place creation to my home state of Texas,” Kafka said in a statement. “PS1200 marks our third development project that uses the Quonset hut as a tool to deliver high quality space, and it synthesizes the most successful elements from all of our previous Detroit-based projects. PS1200 thoughtfully combines public green spaces, inspired housing, retail and office space, providing a place where the community of Fort Worth can live, work, come together and cross paths to explore town planning, architecture and landscape. ”
Prince Concepts already owns two Quonset hut developments similar to PS1200 – Caterpillar and True North, both in Core City, Detroit. According to Prince Concepts, Quonset huts can “cut costs and offer significant investments in landscape and high quality indoor and outdoor spaces.”
The first of the two projects, True North, has won a few accolades, including the Multifamily Development of the Year 2017 by The architect’s journal and a progressive architecture award. True North was also one of six finalists for the prestigious Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize and one of two finalists from the United States, the other being the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History in Washington DC.
“The PS1200 embodies the benefits of contemporary city living – work, live and relax in a beautiful, convenient and central location,” said Marlon Blackwell, founder and director of Marlon Blackwell Architects, in a statement. “Following several earlier projects from Prince Concepts, we designed the PS1200 using Quonset huts, a utility structure. In doing so, we aspired to elevate something prosaic and humble into something noble, while invoking the iconic rhythm and forms of the Kimbell Art Museum.