Facing failure, the Detroit car industry reinvented itself around fuel efficient, forward-looking design. What if a similar swell of innovation were brought to the city’s challenged housing market? While low real estate values, a cold winter climate, and a fragmented urban fabric present major challenges, Detroit’s scrappy DIY culture can work to its advantage. This compact urban loft prototype capitalizes on potential sweat equity of Detroit homeowners by providing for easy transformation from open loft into two-, three- or four-bedroom house. The simple layout provides flexibility for future use while keeping construction cost to a minimum.