Almost 500,000 buildings have arrived at the Port of Los Angeles this year. Well- not exactly. Over 490,000 shipping containers have arrived, though. If there’s a design trend that has caught the world by storm over the past decade, it’s been the rise in transforming shipping containers into buildings as a form of architecture. But are shipping container buildings just a fad that was used to propel ideas about taking every day or is there more substance to creating giant Jenga-inspired structures?
Shipping Container: The Latest Architecture and News
The Citizen Care Pod is a new initiative for COVID-19 smart screening and testing, combining intelligent technology with a modular design. Led by the Citizen Care Pods Corporation, the multi-disciplinary team, consisting of Toronto based WZMH Architects, PCL Construction, Insight Enterprises, and Microsoft, collaborated to bring the project from concept to reality in less than a month.
TRS Studio has unveiled their design for a social project in the Callao region of Peru. The single-family module is based on a cargo container, constructed with strong materials emitting a low cost, and low environmental impact. The project is founded on community participation, improving the quality of health and housing in the Pesquero II settlement through sustainable materials.
As London's Housing Crisis Deepens, a Provocative Proposal Suggests the Solution Rests with the Queen
"The rooms are awash with sparkling candelabra, sumptuous carpets, marble columns, sculptures, and expensive artworks,” says Benedikt Hartl, co-founder of Opposite Office of Buckingham Palace. The 775-room, 79-bathroom, 828,821 square foot residence has been home to Britain’s royalty since the 1830s. And, if Opposite Office’s recent Affordable Palace proposal were to go through, could also be home to you.
UAE based architects Mouaz Abouzaid, Bassel Omara and Ahmed Hammad have designed a shipping container housing project for Cairo, Egypt. Dubbed ‘Sheltainer’, the project aims to address a need for low-income, student and refugee housing. The design focuses on Egyptian life around a single house unit with all the necessary needs for a small family. Sheltainer aims to offer a flexible solution with new open spaces, activities and homes.
Hot on the heels of its lavish breakthrough Milan store, Starbucks has opened yet another striking and innovatively-designed coffee house. However, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma's design associates an entirely different mood with the company's coffee beverages.
Starbucks Taiwan the company’s first location in the Asia Pacific, consists of 29 white shipping containers, shifted and stacked in a grid-like formation. Within the containers’ 3,444 sqft (320 sqm) of space are a variety of intimate and comfortable spaces. A drive-thru is also incorporated into the design to maximize the store’s convenience to its customers.
Shipping containers, once a darling of architectural upcycling, have received a lot of criticism recently, as architects are beginning to recognize that their perceived advantages—ready-made habitable space and structure, and an opportunity to recycle a widely available material—are based in little more than hopeful PR spin. But for one of the most prominent practices which regularly uses shipping containers in their work, LOT-EK, the attraction of these architectural ready-mades always went beyond the ecological and practical rationalizations provided by others. In this interview at the firm's New York studio, part of Vladimir Belogolovsky’s “City of Ideas” series, LOT-EK founders Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano discuss the conceptual foundations of their fascination with shipping container architecture.
Bee Breeders have announced the winners of the Construction Container Facelift architecture competition. The competition jury received a wide range of work, but selected proposals which were based on a realistic implementation of a novel solution, maintaining the inherent durability and functionality of the shipping containers versus altering them strictly for aesthetics.
With the green premise growing in popularity across the globe, more and more people are turning to recycling shipping containers as a way to reduce the extremely high surplus of empty shipping containers that are just waiting to become a home, office, apartment, school, dormitory, studio, emergency shelter, or anything else. The conversion of shipping containers to living spaces is not a new concept.
Shipping containers have become a more common architectural tool over the past few years. Through clippings, insertion of external elements, coatings, and equipment, the container is adapted according to its future use and desired aesthetics. See below 10 examples of works that adopt the use of containers.
The conversion of shipping containers to living spaces is not a new concept—but being able to purchase them online and have them delivered by e-commerce giant Amazon is. Deliveries by the Seattle-based (and seemingly endlessly expanding) company are becoming a staple for most American households: dogs have never barked so much at the postman, porches have never been so littered with empty boxes, and never before has almost every product on the market been available from one place without even having to leave the house.
In spite of this consumer revolution, homes on demand constitutes new territory for the platform. So what does it look like when an entire house is delivered on the back of a truck?
Detroit is a long-standing symbol of innovation in America, especially in the production of automobiles, music, and, at one point in history, airplanes. It has, correspondingly, been called the Motor City, Motown, and the Cradle of Democracy. Over the last half-century, racial tension, urban migration, and disinvestment have shifted the city’s identity, causing it to become a symbol of post-industrial America and the attendant urban deterioration. Together, these elements render Detroit’s more recent nickname—the Renaissance City—tragically ironic.
Beat Box: 30 apartments in 48 containers to transform the Danish neighborhood of Musicon, adjacent to the famous Roskilde Festival area. Designed by Arkitema Architects and constructed by Container Living, Beat Box is an integral part of Roskilde’s goal to revamp Musicon over the next 15 years by adding 1,000 jobs and 1,000 homes.
Recycling material in architecture is becoming increasingly valued in order to enable the creation of sustainable projects. Certainly, naval containers have been one of the elements that have gained prominence in recent years for the design of private and public buildings that respect the environment. In addition to the ecological appeal, containers are a viable choice due to the speed and ease of assembly, the option of a cleaner construction site, or even the different design solutions that this material provides. With their standardized sizes, it becomes possible to create a modular structure that allows infinite possibilities of intervention, so that it suits different uses.
We have gathered here 20 examples of works that adopt the use of containers and some tips that will certainly help you on your next project.
Blossoming from the rugged terrain of the California desert, Whitaker Studio’s Joshua Tree Residence is taking shipping container architecture to the next level. Set to begin construction in 2018, the home is laid out in a starburst of containers, each oriented to maximize views, provide abundant natural light or to create privacy dependent on their location and use.
From high rises to housing to kiosks and disaster relief, shipping containers have become a more common architectural tool over the past few years. Now, Canada-based company Modpool has unveiled yet another use for shipping containers—backyard swimming pools and hot tubs.
Designed to be modular and simple to install, the pools are shipped with all necessary equipment—including a UV water cleaning system built in so that only light ground prep and power and gas access are necessary before the spaces are ready to use.
London-based firm Studioshaw has won a competition to design a hub facility for children and young people in Dundee, Scotland. The Interactive Hub will be located on the site of a former railway depot at the Seabraes Yards Digital Media Park. The competition, hosted by the Dundee Institute of Architects (DIA) and Scottish Enterprise, was one of 400 events taking place across Scotland as part of the RIAS 2016 Festival of Architecture.