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Post By Živa Jerič
on 13. Nov 2012

REUSE, REDUCE, RECYCLE. OR ELSE.

When reading on container architecture, you tend to bump into terms like modular, easy to transport, industrial, cheap. Repurposing the basic model has become a bit of a trend in the past few years, but designing from the same basic starting points that end in such a variety of designs never seemed to be a problem – especially when architects and designers always like to out-do each other. Kind of in a 'I'll show you mine if you show me yours' kind of way. Since there's such a myriad of decidedly different container solutions out there, we'll at least try to find a few mutual ideas, concepts or functions and see what's out there. Not to scare our TUC competitors away – quite the opposite, to encourage them to see te potential in the humble container.

The easiest way to transform the – let's face it – boring container is to apply a perky visual statement on the outer facade and call it a day. A Canadian company specializing in mobile, modular restaurant made from used containers, has gone a step further – they made a little outfitted resto-transformer out of the basic model that they're selling on their website, even providing you with a custom graphic design.

The Lobster Box in Montreal, in collaboration with Aedifica.

The Snackbox in Times Square, in collaboration with Aedifica.

RogLab in Ljubljana, a pilot investment for the future Rog Centre, is still waiting for their visual sprucing, but the 3d workshop and mini auditorium already serve their purpose as a production, educational and presentation space in a 30 m² container object. Designed by our very own jury member, architect Jure Kotnik, its perched on the Ljubljanica embankment and it will be operational till 2018. You can find out more on their website.


Made by Trimo, the RogLab dwells on an elevated sidewalk by Ljubljanica


Open to natural light by day, it closes up completely during nightime

Since the idea of the container is to stay mobile, these ideas apply. But what happens when you nail them down permanently? Well, as it turns out, there's a tendency to stack more of them together or alternate them somehow, as they do not provide a lot of living space altogether. Of course, some of them are sorts of make-shift hideaways, but not in terms of permanent residence. Little mobile homes sprung up either on rooftops or gardens or as guesthouses in backyards.

 

The Container Guest House by Poteet Architects is just that. It has a composting toilet, a shower, a planted roof, and a deck made of recycled telephone poles.

The Palais the Tokyo in Paris has been host to rooftop container modules more than once. In 2007, a project by the artist-duo L/B (Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann) called Everland Hotel sat atop of the museum for almost two years, with the possibility to rent out the (only) room with quite a view.


The retro looking capsule hotel watching over Paris

It has since be replaced by a sleek art-meets-food temporary and transportable installation, that houses top notch Nomiya restaurant, designed by french architect Pascal Grasso. As the glass box only serves 12 people per dinner, you might have a problem getting a reservation.


Pascal Grasso's Nomiya installation

For more container architecture please stay updated for part 2. Crash in!