Standard shipping containers have become synonymous with quick, fast and transportable architecture. The containers, which come in two standard sizes, were typically used for shipping, storage and handling. However, in recent years they have expanded their repertoire of functions and are glossing the pages of design magazines around the world. From modular homes to showrooms to disaster relief, their employment varies. Today we will take a look at some container examples from around the world!
This container house by Thinktree Architects and Partners from Seongnamsi, Gyeonggido, Korea is named Nemo House. Three containers are used, with one stacked above the other two. The two containers at the base level have a gap left between them to extend the ground floor space and allow for a covered courtyard space. One of the containers at the base level is located as a sleeping quarters, while the other contains the kitchen, dining, living and stair access to the upper level container. On the upper level there is a family room/playroom.
Here we can see the stair that leads to the upper level space. The Interior is simple; white walls and natural timber floors. The stair forms a visual feature in the space that is both practical and beautiful. A bookcase wall follows one edge of the stair and can be accessed from both sides. The three modules of the home were constructed off site and transported in place.
From home to community centre—let's take a look at another project from Thinktree Architects and Partners—this time a dynamic cultural space consists of 13 containers. The project, titled
Zero Gravity Zone, is a community space for youth activities in Dongjak-gu, Seoul. While most of the containers are arranged in a regular formation, adjacent to each other and stacked two high, two are tilted up at an acute angle to identify the entry and house the stairwell.
The space consists of a lounge, a seminar room, a communal kitchen, bathroom, office space and the vertical circulation. Here we see the stairwell which is located within the angled containers, creating quirky window placements. White and bright, the space becomes more than just a transitional passage and users are encouraged to sit and linger. The beautiful timber stairs incorporate seating and various walkways are formed. For more inspiration on creating interesting and engaging transitional spaces, take a look at these corridors, hallways and stairs!
We will finish as we started—with a home! And, quite a spectacular one at that! Using three shipping containers, the structure comprises 160 square meters. Using 'form follows energy' techniques, the design adheres to bio-climatic principals. The house can be 'dressed and undressed' to adapt to the seasons and allow for passive heating and cooling in winter and summer; this results in a low energy consumption.
85 percent of the materials are recycled, including; the re-used shipping containers, newspaper pulp for insulation, and pallets. The interior is as stunning as the exterior. The container is left exposed on the interior and painted white. Blue-tinted full-height glass sliders can often seem naff, but here they are playfully sophisticated. An open stair cuts through the middle of the space and the bright red treads are bold and striking.
If you enjoyed these container designs, you may also like to take a look at this fun modular design: A Student Unit of Only 10sqm—More Than the Essentials.