The morphing of shipping containers into homes and offices is the ultimate sustainable trend. Much like tiny houses, these compact, modular structures can be custom fit to suit any design purpose on a college campus, an ICU pods section, an office complex, or even a small community. To explore the ‘uncontainable’ possibilities, CAPSA Containers hosted a contest, ‘Design for Tomorrow’ that challenged competitors to come up with innovative and alternative building solutions. Building accounts for 30% of the greenhouse gas emissions so these designs inspire us to build responsibly and sustainably – they are ecoconscious, cost-efficient, and conform to society’s expectation of doing more with less, lessoning the environmental footprint, and putting limits on the consumption of natural resources.

Tools needed to meet these needs are bio-based materials, recycled, reused, smart, and sustainable building. Chief among ecoefficient building materials is the marine container, known for its modularity, mobility, and scalability.

The contest winner is ‘Bureau Agreste,’ a contemporary shipping container office that supplies employees with a dedicated working space. The modern look coincides well with this sustainable space. This dual-level office boasts an open floor plan that allows for more space and facilitates productivity. The office also includes solar panels lining the roof and a rainwater harvesting system that renders it ideal for off-grid locations – thus eliminating the need to pay big city rents. The container suspension clears ground space for recreation activities or even parking and allows the elevation required to allow for natural light. The first floor is designed concentrically around the central arrival point, from the collective space (exchange and debate) to the intimate space (concentration and introspection). In addition, the design includes recycling end-of-life containers, rainwater recovery tank, photovoltaic panels, dry toilets, wood stove, ceiling fans and bio-sourced materials.

The second-place win was claimed by ‘Flowers in the Garden,’ a blooming hybrid of communal workspace and a garden. The project counters conventional office environments by intermingling the natural environment into a complete workplace. This organic but fun building comes complete with soft screens and bordering green buffering spaces that cultivate a breathing, blooming ecosystem. This corporate design ensures social distancing but not separation, and gives workers a pleasant backdrop for their workday.

The third-place win was claimed by the ‘Side Up Project’ that magically morphs shipping containers into a semi-open space. The project includes containers such as LEGO blocks and integrates many ‘side-up’ containers to create a flexible space that works for work, camps, exhibitions, or events. The design morphs the closed individual containers into a connected formation permitting workers to move with freedom around the space while devising pockets that can be employed for individual reasons. This could provide a blueprint for productive, collaborative and infinitely sustainable working communities in the future.

Versatile and changeable, these repurposed shipping containers are both stylish and ecoconscious—in short, a perfect combo.


Source: Yanko Design