The time has come to wrap up the year that was – with a compilation of the best (and most unusual ways) to use a shipping container! From a tilted trend to creating a space aged dream area, we’ve collected some of the strangest, greatest, or most unusual ways shipping containers have been used in the year 2017, starting with…
Trending – the shipping container tilted in architecture
On an Indonesian island east of Bali, Lombok, an architecturally designed house has arisen as a landmark amongst undeveloped land, all because of a shipping container on a tilt. Near resembling a container sliding or falling off the hill, the ‘Clay House’, by architect Budi Pradono, is one of the latest to jump on the trend of tilting or tipping a container when building to create a unique design. The 2.2m high container is angled upward at 60 degrees at the highest point of the house, which creates a high ceiling in the master bedroom and a large window with doors that open out. The shipping containers used have been sourced from the local shipping port on a nearby island; which is where the unique ‘7h’ can still be seen on the container side. The house was completed with other materials, including specially treated clay walls, and flattened bamboo to provide internal cladding.
Social Housing – social consideration in France using shipping containers
More Architecture worked together with Poggi Architecture to design and create the 1,886-square metre space, which provides 30 apartments to those in need in Western France. Maximising outdoor space with metal balconies to ‘respect the site’s quality, and trying to embrace the vistas’, the boxes and metal balconies have been placed and ‘grafted’ onto every side of the site, so there is no primary façade and fit in smoothly with the landscape. Each apartment’s size and placement correspond with the need of every individual apartment. This fantastic use of shipping containers has been built to provide protection from direct viewing and noise because of the perforated cladding while keeping the space open.
A rainbow installation in Miami – shipping container art
94-year-old Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez debuted a range of artwork including an illuminated shipping container at Miami Art Week in December last year – and why not? The containers are so easy to transport and modify, it is the perfect foundation for any piece, especially on a large scale. The container was part of the Chroma exhibition, which demonstrated the artists’ colour theories – his fundamental concern regarding the transformative possibility that colour is diachronic and unstable, and depends on individual perception, space, and content. The white shipping container had a series of connected chambers which were illuminated by over tube lighting in blue, orange and green. These colours all overlapped and blended together to create rainbow like gradients inside the container. Optical illusions were also included, all there to test the audience’s perception of Cruz-Diez’s’ theories.
Large scale stadium – a shipping container stadium on the rise
Ever thought a football stadium would be constructed out of shipping containers? A controversial decision to make a recycled stadium for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatara out of used shipping containers set out in an ‘elegant curved square’ and still including all amenities like removable seats, concession stands and bathrooms. "We are confident that this innovative and sustainable concept will be an inspiration for stadium developers and architects around the world, capable of creating aesthetically pleasing venues that offer new legacy possibilities," said Fenwick Iribarren Architects co-founder Mark Fenwick. Unfortunately, it is currently only a proposal, which is due to complete in 2020, as the Ras Abu Aboud Stadium is one of eight proposed host venues for the 2022 games.
Alien shipping container spaces – learning the fun way
The coolest, most unusual winner of 2017 is definitely the pop up cinema made by Scott Whitby Studio. The studio was asked to make a mobile screening room to ensure Britain’s port workers remained engaged when learning behaviour practices that could easily save their lives one day. Using over 1000 foam pyramids, they decided to transform an object they see every day – a shipping container – that is easily mobile; and assemble all the foam within to cover all surfaces, to make it startling alien. And even though they look spiky, they’re soft enough for viewers to be comfortable when watching the film, and they also block out all noise to ensure all attention is on the video presentation. The maze at the door of the container blocks out all natural light, and encourages people to be acutely aware of their surroundings, so forced to pay more attention.