Shipping Container Business Complex Goes up in London

Shipping Container Business Complex Goes up in London

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Pop Brixton is a local business campus, which will soon open its doors in London, UK. It will house independent start-ups and small businesses from the area and the project managers estimate that it will create about 200 jobs by supporting around 80 local entrepreneurs, as well as create 12 apprenticeships being paid by the London Living Wage. The complex will be set up as a temporary shipping container village.

Pop Brixton will be built using 50 recycled containers, and it was designed by Carl Turner Architects. Shipping containers will be the main building blocks and will yield all the necessary business units, as well as a farm garden and a greenhouse area, along with exhibition space for local artists, workshop space and an event room with seating for more than 200 people. The event space will be constructed by stacking shipping containers three high, and removing their floors and ceilings to create an open and spacious venue. These spaces will be available for rent or for free to local people, artists and organizations.

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Businesses renting space at Pop Brixton will consist mainly of independent start-ups. They will be chosen based on their area of business as well as on the benefits they bring to the local community. The village is considered temporary since it is occupying a lot that is slated for redevelopment by the city council later this year. The good thing about using shipping containers to build it is that it can be relocated much more easily than another type of structure would.

Judging from the renders and construction photos, the shipping containers used were left in more or less their original state, which does offset the carbon footprint of this type of construction. The village is set to open on May 29.

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Shipping Container Apartments Coming to Downtown Phoenix

By Christine Walsh

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The architecture firm StarkJames LLC has designed an apartment complex made from recycled shipping containers, which is currently being built in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. The primary reason behind this project was providing affordable and sustainable housing near the city’s busy downtown area.

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The complex is called Containers on Grand and is located at 12th Avenue and Grand Avenue, in Phoenix. A total of 16 decommissioned shipping containers will be used to build eight apartment units. Each of the apartments will be made of 2 recycled shipping containers, yielding 740 square feet per apartment.

The architects will keep the floor plan open and modern, while at the same time celebrating the fact that shipping containers were used to build these homes. The apartments will all be one-bedroom units. A kitchen island will be located in the middle of each apartment, with a large living area on one side of it and the bedroom and bathroom on the other. To achieve adequate space, one of the longer sides of each container will be cut away and two containers will then be welded together to form a single apartment.

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The living area will open out into the central courtyard in the center of the complex via double French windows. These large windows will also allow plenty of natural daylight to enter the home, making it appear more spacious and open. The apartments will also offer plenty of storage along one side of the central corridor.

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According to the architects the Containers on Grand complex will be finished and open by the end of spring. They also say, that they already have a lot of interest from he young professionals and students at Arizona State University’s downtown campus. They are expecting to rent the apartments for $950-$1000 a month.

Taco Bell Builds a Restaurant out of Shipping Containers

By Christine Walsh

The fast food company Taco Bell has unveiled a new restaurant at this year’s SXSW in Austin, TX. What sets this one apart is the fact that it was constructed entirely out of shipping containers. It seems more and more business are starting to adopt this new architecture trend, which given the surplus of shipping containers piling up in US ports each month truly is great news!

In the case of Taco Bell, we can perhaps expect more of these types of cargotecture restaurants, since they’re planning to open 2,000 new locations in the US by 2022, which means they are looking to cut costs wherever they can.

The new shipping container Taco Bell only has about half the footprint of a traditional Taco Bell, and the one in Austin was built in just three days, with most of the pre-prep done off site, of course. They have also opted to leave the containers in the original industrial condition, and even though they have been repainted, the company chose a color very similar to the original finish.

They also did not alter the original shapes of the containers very much, apart from cutting out the openings for doors, windows and ventilation. The main shipping container is the one where food is ordered and picked up, and this container also houses one entire food prep line. If an additional food prep line is needed, such as in areas of higher traffic, a second shipping container could easily be attached to the structure to provide it. To fight the feeling of claustrophobia felt by the workers in the back of the container, they added a window to the food prep area, so the backs of the employees as they prepare food is visible to the customers ordering the food.

They placed the storage and operations area into a second container, which also houses the manager’s office. The third container rests atop the bottom two and houses all the necessary cooling equipment. It would appear they also cut one container in half, and then welded the two parts to the main structure. One of these contains the bathrooms and the other the freezer.

However, this restaurant has no indoor space for the customers to sit. There is an outdoor eating area equipped with tables built from refinished wood pallets and giant wire spools laid on their sides, which is also a nice way to repurpose these materials.

Shipping Container School Built in Africa

Shipping Container School Built in Africa

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Due to being inexpensive and readily available, shipping containers are often used for building affordable housing for the less fortunate. This was recently proven by the Johannesburg, South Africa firm Architecture for a change (A4AC) who used shipping containers to construct a school and community center Malawi. The structure is also capable of operating independent of the grid, since it is equipped with a rainwater harvesting system and a solar power array.

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The Legson Kayira Community Center and Primary School, as the complex is called, measures 4,090 square feet (380 square meters). The designers kept the structure very simple. It is made up of two classrooms and a large central courtyard, along with some bleachers. The school primarily educates children, though the building also houses an adult training center.

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Since insulation is one of the main concerns when using shipping containers as building blocks, the architects needed to find a solution, which would work in the hot climate of South Africa. They opted for a covered canopy-type design, which features a larger covered area that provides shade, as well as open, well-lit and well-ventilated spaces.

The shipping containers used were per-fabricated off-site at A4AC’s workshop in South Africa, and then transported to Malawi. The shipping containers used are supported by a lightweight steel supporting frame and roof. Some of the sides of the containers were also removed and replaced by louvered walls, which further aids in the natural ventilation.

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Also, the classroom doors can be opened on a hinge, which again aids ventilation, as well as make sit possible to turn an indoor space into a semi-outdoor space if needed. To block out the sun and provide shade, designers used netting. Water is recycled via channels in the sloping roof and kept in water storage tanks. The school is also fitted with a rooftop mounted solar power array, which harvests enough power to provide indoor lighting, and serve all the other power needs of the school.

The school took only about eight weeks to complete. Also, it was designed in such a way that additional shipping containers can be added to expand it, should the need arise. This is yet another great thing about using shipping containers as building blocks.

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Apartment Building Made of Shipping Containers Goes Up in Washington DC

By Christine Walsh on Nov. 25, 2014

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Washington D.C. recently got it’s first piece of residential shipping container architecture in the form of a Brookland apartment building. The project was the brainchild of DC-based architect Travis Price and his partner Kelly Davies, who did the work for owners Matthew Grave and Sean Joiner. The residential building, located at 3305 7th Street NE, was built to replace a run down family home that once occupied the spot.

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The architects used 18 recycled shipping containers to construct the 24 one-bedroom units, which are intended to be rented out as student housing. The containers they used are 10-feet high, which make them perfect for small apartments. By using repurposed shipping containers they were also able to keep the cost of construction down, and below that of traditional construction prices.

But being built out of shipping containers isn’t the only sustainable part of these homes. The architects also used recycled materials for the interiors, such as the flooring, which is made from welded metal and wide-plank. They used corrugated plastic on the exterior of the building.

Large French windows were installed on the shorter side of each container, allowing plenty of daylight to enter the home. The longer sides were also fitted with large windows, to lessen the feeling of living in a box that can sometimes come from living in a shipping container. The units themselves are very sparsely furnished, and each features a bedroom and a bathroom, with a communal living area and kitchen on each of the floors. Though the units are meant for a single person, they could easily house two as well.

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The entire project took seven months to complete, from design idea to finished building. Despite protests from the neighborhood they were able to stay on track with the construction.