LocationTorigoe, Taitō, Tokyo, Japan
PhotographsCourtesy of Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects
Structural EngineerEjiri Structural Engineers
From the architect. This site is located at Torigoe which is between Asakusa and Akihabara. Here is the old downtown area; there are many small factories for like leather product, paper craft and ornament. Client wants his small office and his wife is going to operate small gallery in this area.
We imagined the second-hand containers be put on this area, Thinking to worn-out container would be fitted to these small factories.
40ft (12m) marine container has one hatch on the gable side and normally picked up from outside. If be able to open the hatch from inside, inside activities will connect to downtown. We have proposed open building that information can be transmitted from inside.
We carefully planned the direction of hatches, cut two containers and stacked it. ISO (International Organization for Standardization) marine containers that circulate widely in the world are not allowed to be used as the main structure; because Japanese Building Standards Act requires the JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards) materials for structure.
Therefore, other than temporary art space and disaster shelter, Architects choose the container house with outside-steel-frame, or making efakef container house which fits JIS in the Japanese Building Standards Act.
In this project, to save the worn-out container's appearance, we built a timber frame inside and treated the container as skin, the timber as structure. Not only making elegal container housef, but also safety structure resists the earthquakes. With this method, we are thinking to possibility reducing the scrap marine containers; that are said excessive stock in the world market.