Indian cafe embodies "infinite possibilities" of shipping containers
Architects never seem to tire of experimenting with shipping containers, with projects like the Bahaus home and Amagansett Modular two recent examples of their enduring popularity. RJDL (Rahul Jain Design Lab) puts an interesting spin on the idea with Café Infinity, which forms an infinity symbol, reflecting the architect's belief that shipping containers offer infinite possibilities as a structural unit.
Café Infinity is located in the grounds of the ITS Dental College, Greater Noida, India, and is available to staff, students, and patients. It's made from a total of nine full-size 40-ft (12-m)-long containers that are painted orange and gray, and measures 2,880 sq ft (267 sq m) all in. The interior design suits the containers' utilitarian nature and consists of fiber cement board and gypsum paneling.
"The design idea centers around two courtyards which comprises two cafe outlets in the front, two dynamic staircases acting as seating and providing access to the viewing decks, services (toilets) at the central container, seating areas for faculty and visitors and a lounge area for students," explains RJDL.
Every time we report on a shipping container-based architecture project, we bring up their poor performance in the heat and cold, because it really is a serious issue with these things. RJDL sought to mitigate this by adding strategically-placed tinted windows and vents to allow for cross-ventilation, shading louvers made from leftover container doors, and insulation. Fans and air-conditioning are also installed.
"The idea of using infinity was conceived to emphasize on the infinite possibilities of using a shipping container as a structural unit, regardless of the building type and site," adds RJDL. 'The facade due to the form factor exhibit playfulness in terms of material, movement and geometry when viewed from different sides. The flexibility, modularity and sustainability makes shipping containers a perfect alternate to the conventional building structures, to reduce the overall carbon footprint while also being an ecologically and economically viable solution."