Residential building made from 140 shipping containers
We've covered a lot of shipping container-based architecture projects but this one, by New York City and Naples-based firm Lot-ek, is larger than most. Named Drivelines Studios, it's a residential project in South Africa that's made from a total of 140 recycled shipping containers.
Drivelines Studios is located on an awkward triangular site in Johannesburg (the city also hosts container-based student accommodation) and consists of two distinct parts arranged in a roughly V-shape, with a courtyard area including pool and garden at the center.
"Embracing the triangular geometry of the site, Drivelines Studios is conceived as a billboard where two separate volumes of residential units are hinged at the narrow east end of the lot, framing the social space of the open interior courtyard," says Lot-ek. "As in a billboard, the building outer facades are straight and flush with the lot line while the facades in the inner courtyard are articulated by the staircases, the elevator tower and the bridges connecting all levels, and by the open circulation paths activated by the units spillover onto their outdoor space."
The 140 shipping containers used were selected by color and left unpainted. They were then stacked securely, modified on site, and had insulation installed to mitigate their poor thermal performance. Lot-ek also added operable windows to promote natural ventilation, while a staircase framework and elevators were added to allow easy access to each of the seven floors.
Drivelines Studios has a total floorspace of 75,000 sq ft (roughly 7,000 sq m). The ground floor is occupied by residential and retail space, while the six levels above are all taken up by residential units. The homes are arranged in an open plan and vary in size between 300 sq ft (27.8 sq m) and 600 sq ft (55.7 sq m). This is split between a kitchen and dining area, living area, bedroom, and a bathroom.
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Imagine, each unit can be replaced quickly anytime, because each building has an automated unit replacement system! (So, for example, a new shipping container housing unit is brought by a truck to bottom-corner of the building; the automated system picks it up & moves in front of a target empty slot in the building; inserts it! (Or, does the opposite, whenever needed!))
The reason you can't find a container for under about $4k now is because of the greed of the large scale second use container buying companies. All the idiotic architectural use of them now raised the price. I was going to build a woodworking shop in one a decade ago but they're priced way out of my range.
Did anyone visit the Lot-ek site? OMG. Even worse. https://newatlas.com/lot-ek-solar-taichung-cultural-center/28011/ I wonder how much more it costs to integrate a frail structure like a container into a large building like that. More than it would without the containers, I'm sure. Some things just shouldn't =be=.