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 Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News
For much of the world, this past year was spent within the confines of our homes, undoubtedly blurring the lines between our public, professional, and private lives and transforming our living spaces into places of work and productivity. This transformation of spaces and how they are used is nothing new in the world of architecture as countless spaces take on various roles beyond what they were originally designed for--a fact reflected in their layout, design, and the materials used within them.
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.
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.
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.
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.