Though we appreciate shipping container-based architecture when it's done right, the ubiquitous metal boxes don't seem a good basis for a skyscraper. Still, the dream of a container tower refuses to die, and international firm Ganti and Associates Design has taken a crack at designing a structurally viable and sustainable container skyscraper for the Dharavi slum in Mumbai, India.
If the premise for the project sounds familiar, it's probably because the concept derives from the same architectural competition that produced CGRG's twin skyscrapers, which it won.
Ganti and Associates Design's unnamed tower would rise to a height of roughly 32 floors, or 100 m (328 ft). Since the containers couldn't bear the weight of the structure alone, they are supported by a steel girder framework.
The tower's exterior design plays to the strengths of shipping containers, and features staggered boxes painted in different colors. The interior is spacious and each apartment comprises three containers joined together. The proposal depicts two toilets, a kitchen, study, master bedroom and kid's bedroom, lounge, deck area, and dining area. The apartments would be arranged around a central core, which includes the stairs and elevators.
In addition to the use of recycled shipping containers, sustainable design and technology slated for the project includes a solar panel array mounted on the south-facing facade, and energy-saving LED lighting throughout the interior. Wind turbines are also imagined for the tower, and locally-made recycled terracotta jaalis (a latticed shading and ventilation screen) would clad corridors to provide natural daylight and ventilation for the interior.
All of which sounds good, but the proposal does not mention any significant provision for dealing with solar heat gain, so it would likely be far too hot for comfort inside.
We've no word from the firm as to whether or not it will be built, though suspect that the container tower will very likely remain a concept.
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