by Puriri deVry
Container City represents modern industrial housing
Today, shipping container architecture is all the rage, and we have shown dozens of them on TreeHugger. Where containers were once expensive, now they are cheap and ubiquitous, and designers are doing amazing things with them. Did I make a terrible career move?
Devised by Urban Space Management, Container City is an innovative modular system that creates affordable accommodation for a range of uses. Containers are an extremely flexible method of construction, being both modular in shape, extremely strong structurally and readily available. Container Cities offer an alternative solution to traditional space provision. They are ideal for office and workspace, live-work and key-worker housing.
The brief was simple: use the festival’s literal building block – the shipping container – to create the beating heart of the event. Besides the central hospitality space, the containers offer ample context for the theatrical artists….. With a height of four layers, the mountain of containers manages to justify its presence between the large warehouses of the former shipyard.
Finally the benefits of Container Cities can truly be seen in short and medium term land use projects. Short-life sites can have Container Cities that simply unbolt and can be relocated or stored when land is required for alternative uses. To date this alternative method of construction has successfully created youth centres, classrooms, office space, artists studios, live / work space, a nursery and retail space.
If Container City had been constructed in China, it would be described as an exemplar of the “pre-fab modern” design movement. Or at least the funky component of that movement. But in an old city like London, it is understood to represent “post-industrial industrial modernism.”
In reality, Container City represents modern industrial housing. It exemplifies housing that is manufactured and affordable, that is modern in design, and that is traditional in its ability to satisfy a need for place and community.
In China, Container City represents a space for artists, a place to live for those who are comfortable living on the edge between old industry and modern design.
I think one of the most important design features at Container City is the use of the round windows. You can find other container structures that seek to hide their structural heritage. One vendor of container homes in California dresses them with a pitched roof and shuttered windows, making them look like little cottages. Instead, they look like little homes that were made from an old box. The round windows used here not only provide a contrasting shape, but in this environment, they evoke the nautical theme. Here, you see a container shelter on a barge that is used as a classroom.