Cargotecture: The Architecture of Shipping containers

Cargotecture: The Architecture of Shipping containers

Cargotecture: The Architecture of Shipping containers is a procedure to use the containers in order to make buildings that functions properly as a Home or a business. In simple words, we can say we are using containers to create a place where we can live. Now we can see the house, buildings, cafeteria and many things made out of containers.

We are living in a generation where we have always been told to re-use stuff around us. It is good for us and our environment too. We are experimenting with multiple materials and reusing them such as bamboo, paper tubes, vegetable fibres, shipping containers etc. Shopping Containers Architecture is a type of architecture we have experimented in all type of architecture. We can call it “Cargotecture” or “Arkitaner”. Cargotecture is a type of architecture that uses steel containers as a structural element because of its strength, eco-friendly behaviour and also it is cheap.

Malcolm McLean made the first Shipping Container and gave the transport industry a new turn. The containers were able to carry heavy loads, resist harsh environment, good with the ocean, convenient. The containers were also good for the building and living purposes. During the Second Indochina War (The War of Vietnam) Majors used to send troops and bases to abroad. The army used to use the containers as shelters and protection shields.

Image 2_©Distill Studio

The First Cargotecture:

The first person who converted the containers into the habitable building was Philip C. Clark. He took the containers and converted them into a building site. And later people found out the idea of cargotecture and made new things. Later Europe and Asia adopted the idea of cargotecture. People later used the ideology of shipping container architectural to create cafes, residential structure and commercials as well.

There are thousands of containers and sending them back is pretty expensive and destroying can harm the environment in a lot of ways so we can use the containers to build student dormitory, schools, studios, affordable housing, emergency shelters etc.

List of Cargotecture

Box Office, Rhode Island, USA:

The box office is an office in a state of Rhode Island, USA. The Box Office is a collection of twelve offices and studios built by shipping containers. The box office has made up of 37 recycled shipping containers. It built on an abandoned strip of Providence history the site of former Harris Lumber. It is one of the biggest container structures in the US. The Developers of the project is Truth Box, Inc and The designer of the project is Joe Haskett, he is the principal at Distill Studio. This office building is having an approximate area ranging between 60sq.m to 240 sq.m, as well as It, stands out with bright colours on the exterior.

source: google

The Box Office is a well-insulated office with high-performance windows and doors, has a super tight exterior, high-efficiency air source heat pumps in heat pumps. It also has the energy recovery ventilators (ERV) to conserve energy to provide fresh air. The interior of the box office is super comfortable, superior with the air quality even though it is in the middle of a highway. It also has a train track and a major urban roadway near the box office.

Cite A Docks – Le Havre, France:

The housing is a student housing project built in La Havre, France. Firstly It consists of 100 houses made by shipping containers. The containers have every comfort a student needs. Secondly, the housing has given the shape of a four-floor building with 100 housing an approximate area range of 24 square meters each. The containers are working as studios/apartment at the housing.

The housing has no ground floor so everyone can get the same privacy as people with upper floors. All the apartments have, glass walls on both ends, a garden inside them and the walls allow natural lighting of spaces. The walls of the containers are adjacent to the outside hance for heating and sound isolation. The outside walls that divide the different units have firewall coating in reinforced concrete. The firewall is 40cm wide and therefore to prevent the dampen vibrations the walls come within layers of rubber.

The infrastructure of the housing has a separate kitchen, bathroom and free Wifi in order to make it similar for the guests in every apartment. The walls have a white colour with wooden furniture.

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Source: google©(Cattani Architects)

Bayside Marina Hotel, Japan:

The Bayside Marina Hotel is a hotel built at the seaside of Yokohama, Japan. Yasutaka Yoshimura is the architect of the Bayside Marina Hotel. This hotel has a total of 31 rooms. Also, each room has its own different and unique view. The hotel creates panoramic scenes around, and within, the premises.

Similarly, The hotel has randomly placed cottages overlooking the Tokyo Bay. Also, each of these cottages comprises two vertically stacked containers placed linearly. In the Bayside hotel, you’ll get your own flat. The rooms have a climate-control system, Bathrobes.

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Bayside Marina Hotel, Japan source: google ( ©Yasutaka Yoshimura architects)
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Bayside Marina Hotel, Japan

Common Ground, Seoul, South Korea:

Common Ground is a shopping mall in Seoul, South Korea. The Common Ground’s designer was a firm URBANTAINER. In the area of 5300 square meters. The construction time was five months. The Common Ground is the result of an experiment of revitalizing unused land in the middle of the city. The Common Ground contains 200 large modular containers. It has 70 stores, 20 restaurants, and a rooftop terrace and printed in bright blue.

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Common Ground, Seoul, South Korea ©Urbantainer

Café Infinity, India:

Café Infinity is a Café at ITS Dental college in Greater Noida, India. The purpose of the designer was to create a peaceful and sustainable place for everyone but especially for students. RJDL is the designer of the café the vision of the designer was to reuse the shipping container in the same way other designers did. The designers pushed their limits as well as cleared their vision. In order to create the café. The café is the two outlets of café in front of two staircases and the staircases are dynamic. The staircases act as a seating and also provide the access to viewing desks. The container in the middle is a seating area for visitors as well as faculty. And the lounge area is for students only. The seating area has the view of the countryard to see what’s happening in the institute.

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Café Infinity, India source: google ©RJDL
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Café Infinity, India

Also Read related Article: An Upcycled cafe in Noida – Cafe Infinity


Now, let us have a look at some thoughtful concepts on Cargotecture.

1. Mumbai Slums reimagined by DIOINNO Architecture PLLC

This similar arrangements, we can see in The interlace Building.

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Mumbai Slums reimagined by DIOINNO Architecture PLLC ©DIOINNO Architecture PLLC
interior concept of Mumbai slum ©DIOINNO Architecture PLLC

Kiosks reimagine by NL Architects in Seoul

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©NL Architects Kiosks reimagine by NL Architects in Seoul
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Kiosks reimagine by NL Architects in Seoul ©NL Architects
Design concept of cargotectures

Pandemic Series with CargotectureNeed is the Mother of Invention

In Australia, University of Technology, Sydney designed a COVID testing center in a shipping container. 
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Pandemic Series with Cargotecture ©dezeen
Grimshaw Architects, Newyork designed a COVID testing center for a healthcare company called Osang.
Cargotecture: The Architecture of Shipping containers - Sheet15
COVID testing center in a shipping container ©dezeen
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Sydney designed a COVID testing center in a shipping container ©dezeen
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COVID testing center in a shipping container ©dezeen
CURA, an intensive care unit is designed by Italian Architects called Carlo Ratti and Italo Rota in Turin
CURA ©dezeen
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