Medical Complex in Sudan

by Yuka Yoneda 

You know how much we love shipping container architecture here at Inhabitat, and we get especially excited about buildings that contribute to the greater good of an area or community. Well, we couldn’t have found a more shining example of that than this beautiful medical complex in Soba, Sudan. The breezy complex sits right near the Nile river around a courtyard of mango trees, and is constructed of discarded 90 ft x 20 ft containers taken right from the construction site of the adjacent Salam Centre for cardiac Surgery.
 eco design, green design, sustainable design, prefab housing, prefabricated housing, salam centre, sudan, tam architects, shipping container, container houses, shipping container architecture 

Designed by Italian firm, Tam Architecture, the idea for the complex was conceived when the architects noticed the leftover containers lying around the construction site and wanted to reuse them. Using them to provide the international staff of the cardiac center with a place to stay seemed like the perfect opportunity. The housing units are 20 sqm and consist of a bedroom, a bathroom and a small veranda on the court side. There is also a cafeteria which is made out of smaller 7 ft x 40 ft containers.

In addition to being fabricated out of shipping containers that were already at the site (no extra fuel costs or shipping emissions!), Tam took extra measures to make the complex energy-efficient. The containers are insulated with a layer system: 5 cm insulating panels on the inside and a second insulated roof and a bamboo brise soleil panel system on the outside, meaning that the sun’s rays never make contact with the containers. Solar panels supply hot water for the compound and an air conditioning system that utilizes photovoltaic panels and chilling machines has been tested for the complex.

Container Village for Haiti

Pop-Up Village for Haiti Made From 900 Shipping Containers

by Bridgette Meinholdvilaj vilaj, luck mervil, haiti, shipping container housing, earthquake disaster relief

Haitian Canadian musician Luck Mervil is leading the charge to help rebuild Haiti with houses made from repurposed shipping containers. Mervil is behind the Montreal organization Vilag Vilag, which wants to use 900 shipping containers to build an entirely new village west of Port-au-Prince fit for 5,000 people. The organization aims to build sustainable and long-term housing in Haiti — and eventually elsewhere — with the help of local Haitians.

vilaj vilaj, luck mervil, haiti, shipping container housing, earthquake disaster relief 

Mervil, who has put his own career aside to work on this important project, expects the entire community to cost around $25 million and has been ardently working to raise the funds. The new village will be built on a parcel of previously uninhabited land near Leogane, a coastal city west of Port-au-Prince. A prototype shipping container house was built in Canada in 10 days for between $8,000 and $10,000, and Mervil expects the costs to be much lower in Haiti.

The village will consist of a series of 900 shipping containers grouped together in a grid and separated by open space, parks, and playing fields. Both 40 and 20-foot containers will be used to construct durable, long-term and hurricane and earthquake resistant homes. Each home will offer roughly 320 sq feet of living space with running water and bathrooms. The village will also be self-sufficient, with space for companies to set up shop so that villagers can work and support themselves.

Eco-Cabins for Boy Scouts

Eco-Cabins for Boy Scouts
by Bridgette Meinhold 

Embracing the Boy Scouts of America’s «leave no trace» mantra, Gensler designed and built an incredible eco-cabin for Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island. Utilizing sustainable design principles, renewable energy and two 20´ shipping containers, the cabin is the first of twenty off-grid cabins set for a redevelopment plan that will transform an 85-year old campground into a year-round outdoor learning center.

The eco-cabin is made up of two 20′ containers bolted together to create a 320 sq ft space. The structure has been covered with a vaulted translucent roof of stretched silicone-coated fiberglass over aluminum arches, and the roof and the connecting sides of the two containers were removed to provide a larger, light-filled structure. As this is a cabin designed for boy scouts, little is needed in terms of power, and LEDs are powered by a solar system to offer light at night. During the day, the translucent vaulted ceiling offers ample daylighting while also giving the cabin a more spacious feel.

Gensler designed and built the cabin back in LA, cut the sides away, insulated the interior and from there all the materials were packed away inside the containers for shipping to the Island. The two containers were installed upon a low concrete six pier foundation and a deck was constructed from reclaimed wood taken from an old dock in the bay. An additional nineteen, identical cabins will be constructed and assembled on the island to replace the camp’s existing barracks. There will also be the addition of a new outdoor learning center, also to be constructed from shipping containers.

Gensler provided their services pro-bono for this project; while Arup managed the structural engineering, J. Miller Canvas the roof and doors, The RMS Group the containers, Primus Lighting the LED Lighting, and Nora Systems the rubber flooring.


Platoon Continer Art Center

Platoon Kunsthalle GwangJu Shipping Container Art Center Stacks Up in Korea

by Yuka Yoneda 

In 2009, we brought you exciting news of this beautiful new shipping container art center opening up in Seoul, and we’ve just discovered that it has a sister structure in Gwangju that rivals both its cool factor and creative contribution to the Korean community. Called Platoon Kunsthalle Gwangju, the newer building is made up of dark grey and orange cargo containers, and houses emerging art and subculture exhibitions as well as an event hall and bar. Click through our gallery to peek inside this intriguing space.
 shipping container architecture, eco architecture, shipping container, green design, eco design, sustainable design, kunsthalle gwang ju, gwangju, platoon, prefab architecture, prefabricated, eco art 

Platoon, a rather mysterious creative consulting agency based out of Berlin and Seoul, conceived the Gwangju center as an industrial, wide open space with plenty of room to display art. The use of shipping containers arranged in a rectangle allowed them to achieve that cavernous area in the middle of the center, which opens up onto both the first and second floors giving it an even more grand feeling.

“Kunsthalle Gwangju is an art project itself,” says Platoon of the space. “The concept and program involves artists, visitors and the team to interact with each other. This creates new questions, interesting tensions and inspiring moments. As a social sculpture the art is created by the existence of this venue and its interaction with the people. It is not a white cube to display finished art pieces of international artists for mere consumption. Cultural development will be experienced by new art strategies which pose questions of contemporary life and a global society. Kunsthalle Gwangju will invite Korean, Asian and global artists to perform interaction art and develop new local aspects according to the city and citizens of Gwangju.”

The center opened on August 31, 2010 and installed “Tamatar,’’ a collection of 16 styrofoam balls, for their first exhibit.


Container Restaurant – Sydney

Greenhouse: Joost’s Garden-Wrapped Waste Free Shipping Container Restaurant Comes to Sydney
by Bridgette Meinhold

A waste free restaurant? Impossible you say? Not when built by artist Joost Bakker, who designed the pop-up restaurant in reverse to ensure that there would be no trash, that everything is recycled or composted and the entire building can be dismantled, recycled or reused. An impressive feat to say the least, the green eatery features a completely local, organic and seasonal menu, some of which is grown right on the roof of the shipping container and strawbale building. Greenhouse by Joost opened only a few weeks ago at Cambells Cove and will be open until the end of March.
  greenhouse, joost bakker, sydney, shipping containers, eco restaurant, pop up cafe, zero waste

The eco restaurant was designed specifically to be a traveling show that could be packed up into shipping containers and includes the building structure, stairs for the rooftop access, kitchen, bathroom, bar, furniture and staff change rooms. A rooftop garden will grow some of the restaurant’s herbs and veggies, while cooking oil powers a generator. Strawbales are used to insulate some of the walls and the interior is decorated in writing that explains the zero waste policies of the restaurant.

Joost wasn’t kidding when he meant zero waste either. Literally, nothing goes to waste. All organic matter, including flatware, is composted for the rooftop garden. Water is collected on site and the toilets are super water efficient and feature a mini-sink that fills the tank for the next flush. Food is sourced seasonally from local farmers, delivered in whole form and processed on site. For example, a wheat farmer brings fresh grains to the restaurant each week, where they are then ground to the desired meal. Wine and beer likewise are delivered and served from kegs or barrels. The menu largely depends on what is available.

Cambells Cove in Sydney is the first stop of Greenhouse by Joost on its international tour. The restaurant will close at the end of March, pack up and head over to Milan for the International Furniture Fair before hitting other major European cities. Better hit up the Sydney location and take advantage of the amazing view.