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.
Location: Gral. Enrique Martnez 1467, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Architects In Charge: Sebastin Cseh, Juan Cruz Catania
Project Team: Natalia Del Giudice, Pablo Bontempo, Juan Ignacio Massa, Nicols Vicens.
Area: 3740.0 m2
Project Year: 2017
Photography: Gustavo Sosa Pinilla
General Construction Manager: Horacio Bontempo
Structural Engineering: Pedro Gea
Sanitary Advisor: Labonia & Asoc.
From the architect. In a large plot of land in the neighborhood of Belgrano a low-scale building is project, intended for multifamily housing, that typologically alternates 15 units of various sizes. The architectural structure is developed looking for the preservation of a special inherited element: an old oak near the internal front line.
A specially designed core achieves four units per floor, all with private palier in the type plants (1st to 3rd). In the front, three-bedroom units with wide living rooms are developed and the back-side presents units of 4 bedrooms and large terraces. The latter are removed from the second floor to make room for the existing oak.
As the final finish of the project, retreats and outdoor terraces generates diverse external situations. On the fourth floor, the front retreat conceives a single three-bedroom apartment with a desk and a horizontally elongated living room. While two three-bedroom units with their own terraces are developed to the quiet part of the building.
The interior design offers free and bright spaces, generating a sense of spaciousness, functionalism and comfort.In the ground floor and subsoil there are 24 parking spaces and at the end of the lot a complementary construction of picturesque character is put in value, functionalizing it to serve as support to the existing pool.
The front facade is proposed to strengthen the horizontal proportion of the building through a concrete grid that emphasizes the horizontal lines and a neutral and uniform ground floor enclosure in all its extension.
In the quiet part of the building the same criterion is used, but generating a withdrawal of the expansions that leaves the protagonism to the oak.
Nathan Yaucollected US Census databetween1950 and 2015to create a set of visualizations thatdemonstrate how the diversity of the workforce has evolved. “Naturally, men and women now work many of the same jobs, but many jobs are mostly men or mostly women,” explains Yau. So how does the architecture profession fit into this narrative?
Data from the 2015American Community Survey revealed the “most male” and “most female” jobs (carpenter and preschool/kindergarten teachers, respectively). It’s not entirely surprising that architects fall towards the male spectrum, butthis interactive graphic allows you to explore other professions and the share of men and women who labor in these fields. While exact numbers aren’t available, the data shows that only 30%-35% of architects in the United States are female.
Which professions have a similar male/female breakdown? Emergency Medical Technicians, Environmental Scientists, and Morticians/Funeral Directors.
Yau also compiled 65 years of data to show changing proportions of males and females in specific workforces. As shown in the graph below, architecture is making a slow but determined march towards a 50-50 split. When assessed against other professions-such as model makers (“Woodworkers Including Model Makers and Patternmakers, Misc.”) which is, according toYau’s data, becoming less gender diverse-thisis a comparatively positive statistic.
From the architect. Lightspeed commissioned ACDF Architecture the designers for the first phase of the firm’s headquarters to create a new floor dedicated to product development. The workspace of the point-of-sale software company is located on the ground floor of a 19th-century railway hotel, the chateau-style Viger Railway Station. With its distinctive architecture and its historical significance, the building is an iconic landmark that stands out in Old Montreal‘s skyline.
Inspired by the contrast between the historic railway station and the growing tech company, ACDF created a functional and lively office space. The new floor provides an ideal environment for development teams, expressing at the same time the audacious and creative nature of Lightspeed. The offices occupy a large and bright 15-foot-high space. Daylight reflects off the slick surfaces of the glossy white epoxy-coated floor and the gypsum ceiling. The harmonious setting creates a unique synergy driven by spontaneous interaction.
Inspired by the best product development approaches, Lightspeed encourages collaboration and self-organization amongst its team members. Each group works as a unit, almost like an independent start-up company, and the collaborators adapt the space to fit their needs. Each group has its own desks, meeting room and social area in the open floor plan. Varying pastel tones spread on the walls and floors in shadow-like shapes, defining each team’s zone.
Like small islands, these areas form a dynamic archipelago that invites gatherings to take place in the in-between spaces and the surrounding pastel walls double as whiteboards for impromptu meetings and presentations. The flexible environment helps team members to focus on projects in progress while also fostering close working relationships.
Following in the footsteps of their design for the first floor, ACDF opted for a careful intervention that preserves the original building’s rich heritage. Remnants of the existing shell offer a backdrop to the contemporary atmosphere of the office space. The architects uncovered remaining bricks and stones to expose the raw material and created a dynamic contrast between old rough walls and new rectilinear geometry that highlights the space’s qualities.
Passing through the old central wall, we reach the alley, a common space where the industrial past of the building is more noticeable. The glossy floor finish of this area exposes the concrete and terrazzo patterns. The black paint on the ceiling conceals the ducts and piping without hiding them completely. Located at the junction between the 1898 Viger Railway Station and the 1912 Berri Railway Station, the alley is a space where eras and people meet.
With its comfortable atmosphere and its long counters calibrated for large-size gatherings, the room can accommodate up to 300 people and can provide a meeting place for the whole Lightspeed team. The central position of the alley divides the floor in two: a clean and edgy space on one side, an industrial environment on the other. Adapted to the visionary work of development teams, the new floor of Lightspeed’s office is a real innovation hub, while also providing an engaging and inspiring workspace.
From the architect. The project is located in Tianfu New Area, Chengdu, inside the Southwest Airport Economic Development Zone. Being 14 km away from Shuangliu International Airport, it is part of the New Chengdu Energy Industry District Planning. The project is east to Chengya Highway and west to South Chuanchi Road, an extension area. The site still remains the forestry texture which is unique to Chengdu Plain. The forestry texture is formed mostly by agricultural lands and fish ponds with small settlements and forests scattering in-between. Due to that, our design focuses on how to meet the restricted sloping and elevation requirement inside the project. We also try to preserve most of the unique landform and topography from Chengdu Plain.
When planning the programs and phasing of the site, we choose different topographic manipulation strategies based on their various functions: For the office, exhibition and reception area, we maintain the original topography, using the existing landscape elements to design these areas. The existing fish pond becomes the central water feature after the design. We also maintain most of the original planting without interfering the construction. The strategy is to transfer them into series of various terrace landscape merging into the topography. For warehouses and R&D areas, considering the craftsmanship requirement and smooth topography, we decide to use hardscape to serve the purpose of full function, using rank vegetation as main landscape planting. We also control the height of the vegetation to not block the view and maintain the efficiency of transportation.
The complex building locates in the north-western corner of the site, extending itself along the South Chuanchi road in a holistic, clean style with tube shaped cantilever structure. We choose the west side of the project as main iconic showing area, meanwhile controlling its sunshine angle. The north side of the project is used as an expert reception area. It has convenient traffic access to the complex building and connects itself to the urban main vehicular road. This area has a low impact on construction development, where maintains the original topography and landscape. The north-eastern corner of the site is relatively flat, which is used as R&D center and factory warehouses. The rest of the warehouses are located in the south of the site which is in the phase two construction.
The complex building undertakes most of the office, information sharing and display. The needs for image displaying also impact its architecture design. Steel truss structure forms a tube-shaped space cantilevered in the west side of the side, facing the main urban avenue. It lays down a basic design style of light and dynamic. Inside the east side of the building is the main office area while the west side becomes the meeting room, open space and exhibition hall using the triangle space. At the same time, the panel system on the west side also filters both the sunlight and view.
This area is divided into two parts: the first part is gathering area with reception and meeting rooms, another part is courtyard area with recreation and entertainment. This area has its own independent entrance and exit. Besides the front reception, the gathering area also serves as a connection to the office and reception area. It is interpreted into a collective and holistic image.
The staff canteen locates near the demarcation of phase one and two with its main entrance facing the factory area. Its red line reacts to the orientation and angles of the phasing demarcation. In terms of the layout, we use the existing depression to form a semi-underground space. At the same time, water is introduced to the interior space after manipulation. As the main entrance water feature, it forms an atmosphere of forestry canteen through different landscape elements.
The staff dormitory uses its internal courtyard, landscape and corridor to connect different site levels. Following its program, it represents a simple yet modernism faade design.
Driven by principles of collaboration and innovation, the master plan is arranged as create a place that is both separate from and integrated into the city, providing students with a calming atmosphere that is closely linked to New York‘s entire city of resources.
We felt strongly that the framework should stimulate invention – both architectural and scientific. We designed a campus framework that would encourage the creative process now and into the future, flexibly accommodating a growing and evolving institution, said Colin Koop, Senior Designer on the project and a Director at SOM.
Arranged within this plan are three main structures: The Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Center, The Bridge, and The House.
Designed by Morphosis, the Bloomberg Center is the first academic building on campus, featuring a variety of re-thought learning spaces including both flexible collaborative areas and private work spaces. Ambitious both in concept and in design, the building is striving to become one of the largest net-zero energy buildings in the United States.
The aim of Cornell Tech to create an urban center for interdisciplinary research and innovation is very much in line with our vision at Morphosis, where we are constantly developing new ways to achieve ever more sustainable buildings and to spark greater connections among the people who use our buildings. With the Bloomberg Center, we’ve pushed the boundaries of current energy efficiency practices and set a new standard for building development in New York City, said Morphosis founder and design director Thom Mayne.
Next door is the Weiss/Manfredi-designed hub known as The Bridge. A new type of building, The Bridge offers spaces for students to work alongside start-ups and leading companies on diverse technological and business projects. The building is highly open, with gathering areas on each level, including a a multilevel Tech Gallery and a solar trellis-shaded rooftop terrace.
The building is a crystalline social condenser, one that reveals expansive skyline views and creates spaces for academics and entrepreneurs to slow down, talk to one another, and generate ideas in unprecedented ways, said Marion Weiss and Michael A. Manfredi, co-founders of WEISS/MANFREDI.
The final building to open is The House, the tallest and largest residential Passive House building in the world. Designed by Handel Architects, the building meets the strict Passive House standards for construction to reduce energy use and create a healthier and more comfortable living environment for a fraction of residents’ usual energy costs. The building will be occupied by both students and Cornell faculty, creating a year-round campus community.
The House is a groundbreaking example of sustainable architecture — the largest and tallest Passive House building in the world. It’s our answer to the call for change to combat global warming, said Gary Handel, President of Handel Architects.
The campus’ open spaces have also been designed with community-building and environmental sustainability in mind, with landscapes designed by James Corner Field Operations. Occupying the entire width of Roosevelt Island, the campus offers extraordinary views of the Manhattan and Queens skylines. A central pedestrian spine known as the Tech Walk connects the buildings of Phase 1 with future phases, while green spaces have been designed to rainwater harvsting and stormwater management.
With Cornell Tech‘s new campus, we have been able to integrate technology, sustainability, and landscape architecture to create a unique urban campus, said Karen Tamir, James Corner Field Operations‘ Principal-in-Charge. Each of the open spaces work together to provide settings for students, faculty, staff and visitors to sit, talk and collaborate, creating a lively, welcoming, and social environment.
From the architect. On top of a hill above Peka Peka Beach sit three simple boxes with expansive views across to Kapiti Island and inland towards pine forest plantation and agricultural farmland. There are two black-stained cedar boxes positioned to create a sheltered courtyard: one box is dedicated to living functions, the other to sleeping. The third box, clad in profiled polycarbonate, contains the garage and workshop: at night it glows when lit from within. Combined, they form a compact house designed as a primary residence for the owners.
The design is a response to both views and climate; the latter a particularly important consideration for year-round living in such an exposed location. The North-facing courtyard is protected from coastal winds, yet still enjoys views right through the living room towards the sea. Timber decking surrounds the house and provides a variety of scenarios to seek shelter depending on the prevailing weather conditions.
As requested by our knowledgeable clients, the house promotes some eco values in the form of a combination of PV and solar hot water panels and above code insulation. Their long-term ambition is to go off-grid. LED lighting throughout and exposed and insulated concrete slab as a heat store helps reduce power consumption. Natural ventilation picks up the consistent afternoon sea breezes.