Architecture

Residential building made from 140 shipping containers

Drivelines Studios is located on an awkward triangular site in Johannesburg
Drivelines Studios is located on an awkward triangular site in Johannesburg
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New York City and Naples based firm Lot-ek focuses on shipping container-based architecture
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New York City and Naples based firm Lot-ek focuses on shipping container-based architecture
Lot-ek's most recent project, Drivelines Studios, is located in South Africa
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Lot-ek's most recent project, Drivelines Studios, is located in South Africa
Drivelines Studios is a residential building made from 140 recycled containers
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Drivelines Studios is a residential building made from 140 recycled containers
Drivelines Studios is located on an awkward triangular site 
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Drivelines Studios is located on an awkward triangular site 
Drivelines Studios is located in Johannesburg, which also hosts shipping container-based student accommodation
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Drivelines Studios is located in Johannesburg, which also hosts shipping container-based student accommodation
Drivelines Studios is located on an awkward triangular site in Johannesburg
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Drivelines Studios is located on an awkward triangular site in Johannesburg
Drivelines Studios is arranged in a roughly V-shape
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Drivelines Studios is arranged in a roughly V-shape
Drivelines Studios' design is likened to a billboard by Lot-ek
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Drivelines Studios' design is likened to a billboard by Lot-ek
Drivelines Studios is a residential building made from 140 recycled containers
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Drivelines Studios is a residential building made from 140 recycled containers
Drivelines Studios is located  in the Maboneng area of Johannesburg
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Drivelines Studios is located  in the Maboneng area of Johannesburg
Drivelines Studios' containers were left unpainted
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Drivelines Studios' containers were left unpainted
Drivelines Studios' 140 shipping containers were selected by color 
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Drivelines Studios' 140 shipping containers were selected by color 
"Embracing the triangular geometry of the site, the building 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.
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"Embracing the triangular geometry of the site, the building 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," adds Lot-ek
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"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," adds Lot-ek
Drivelines Studios comprises seven floors
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Drivelines Studios comprises seven floors
Drivelines Studios creates a private courtyard for residents that includes a pool and garden
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Drivelines Studios creates a private courtyard for residents that includes a pool and garden
Drivelines Studios has a staircase framework attached for access
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Drivelines Studios has a staircase framework attached for access
Drivelines Studios is located on an awkward triangular site
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Drivelines Studios is located on an awkward triangular site
Drivelines Studios is located in Johannesburg, which also hosts shipping container-based student accommodation
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Drivelines Studios is located in Johannesburg, which also hosts shipping container-based student accommodation
Drivelines Studios' apartments are arranged in an open plan 
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Drivelines Studios' apartments are arranged in an open plan 
Drivelines Studios' apartments vary in size between 300 sq ft (27.8 sq m) and 600 sq ft (55.7 sq m)
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Drivelines Studios' apartments vary in size between 300 sq ft (27.8 sq m) and 600 sq ft (55.7 sq m)
Lot-ek installed insulation in the apartments 
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Lot-ek installed insulation in the apartments 
Drivelines Studios' apartments vary in size between 300 sq ft (27.8 sq m) and 600 sq ft (55.7 sq m)
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Drivelines Studios' apartments vary in size between 300 sq ft (27.8 sq m) and 600 sq ft (55.7 sq m)
Drivelines Studios features operable windows to promote cross-ventilation
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Drivelines Studios features operable windows to promote cross-ventilation

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."

Drivelines Studios' apartments vary in size between 300 sq ft (27.8 sq m) and 600 sq ft (55.7 sq m)
Drivelines Studios' apartments vary in size between 300 sq ft (27.8 sq m) and 600 sq ft (55.7 sq m)

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.

Source: Lot-ek

6 comments
exodous
This is cool, I don't know why there aren't thousands of apartment complexes like this. on coastal cities you see miles and miles of damaged shipping containers and yet the government built housing is always crap (yet expensive from what I understand) or large parts of the city living in hovels.
f8lee
Shades of Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash"!
fb36
IMHO, (very) large buildings made of N by M stacks/slots of shipping container housing units are the future/solution of low cost housing! 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!))
sugamari
I can never figure out the greed of the shipping containers people. So many of them just laying around and do you think a person can find one for a reasonable price. Not a chance in hell.
Arandor
Looks like _Ready Player One_.
ljaques
That building is an eyesore and I can't see how it's stable enough to occupy. Bleh! The good news is that things like this aren't given to homeless. They're rented out at a premium as special housing! 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=.