The Rise of New Mixed-Use Mini-Complexes

Architect Marlon Blackwell and developer Philip Kafka lead the charge in urban transformation with innovative live-work spaces and modern quonset hut designs. A new breed of mixed-use mini-complexes, combining living, working, retail, and food and beverage, is emerging in gentrifying parts of the country. One developer who is spearheading this new hybrid is Philip Kafka.

Based in Detroit, he has created several such mixed-use compound there, one of which, True North, marked with his signature: an updated version of the Quonset hut. Now he has expanded to Ft. Worth, Texas, where Marlon Blackwell, FAIA has used the formula to design PS1200, which houses a restaurant, coffee shop, retail, offices for a local magazine, a day spa, a photography studio, and eight lofts.


What is just as remarkable as the strength of the overall composition is the quality of the craftmanship on display. Kafka’s team of builders, used well by the architect, has created. The exterior is tight and precise, while on the Quonset huts’ interiors the white plaster rises up to the arch of the ceiling with virtually no modulation or variation. The sense of complete control over the forms gives PS1200 a sense of machined precision.

SOURCE | Architect Magazine


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Lucy Mister

30th January 2024