The versatility of shipping containers doesn’t only apply to residential projects. In fact, a lot of great examples prove that shipping containers are excellent for a variety of other projects, including commercial and public buildings. As a result, three completely different buildings can share in common their choice of materials, in this case shipping containers.
Coffee Shop and Showroom in Midrand, South Africa
The Foghound Interactive Coffee Shop and Showroom is located in Midrand, South Africa. It was a project by Earthwoorld Architects who chose to use shipping containers in offer the building the desired look and feel.
On one hand, the building serves as a coffee shop. On the other hand, it’s also a showroom where coffee machines are displayed. This combination is quite unusual but, at the same time, really great. The type of design required by such a combo had to include elements that allowed the interior to feel warm and welcoming while also giving it an industrial allure. This is why shipping containers became a perfect option.
“Le Port Franc,” an innovative concert hall.
Shipping containers were also the primary resource used for Le Port Franc, a concert hall designed by Savioz Fabrizzi Architects and located in Sion, Switzerland. The containers were inserted into an existing building, their role being to provide a framework for a large concert hall.
The requirements were not excessively complex. The concert hall had to include a lounge area, a ticket desk, a rehearsal room as well as a series of other spaces. The shipping containers provided the architects with a good way of dividing these zones although several modifications and alterations had to be made.
In addition to being versatile and adaptable, the shipping containers also provided the team with a low-cost alternative. Moreover, their nature allowed the concert hall to stay casual and to be able to withstand extensive use and possible vandalism.
The Huiini House by S+ diseño
This is a residence located in Zapopan, Maxico, in a secluded but very beautiful spot. Its proximity to the forest allows the house to merge with nature and to share a special connection with it. As you can see, it was built out of shipping containers. In total, four containers were used. They were stacked to form two levels. Two of the containers form the ground floor which contains the living room, kitchen, a bathroom, the laundry area, the master bedroom with its en-suite and a tool room.
The upper level is composed of a guest bedroom with a walk-in closet and its own bathroom, a gallery hallway, a studio as well as an open space living and dining area. The 30 square meter containers were stacked in such a way that both floors have terraces, one on each floor. In total, the residence occupies an area of 148 square meters. It was completed in 2013 by S+ diseño and shipping containers were chosen as the primary materials because of the client’s dislike for soft curves and inclined surfaces and the inclination for strong, robust and simple elements.
The combination of yellow and gray used for the exterior of the residence allows it to stand while, at the same time, preserving the container’s industrial appearance without attempting to change their nature in a drastic way.
These three projects are the perfect examples to show the versatility of shipping containers and all the unique ways in which they can be used. Whether the project is commercial or residential, shipping containers can always be adapted to suit a variety of particular settings, locations and needs. Architects and designers are getting better and better at including containers in their projects and at innovating around them.