Cluster of shipping containers form modular startup incubator for Amsterdam
A set of upcycled shipping containers have breathed new life into a derelict and underused space at Amsterdam Science Park, stacking together to form a new co-working space for budding entrepreneurs called Startup Village.
The concept was dreamt up by Dutch architect Julius Taminiau while working on the design and construction of Pop Brixton, an entrepreneurial hub in south London also built with shipping containers on underused land.
The lessons learnt there in creating a vibrant community out of essentially nothing inspired Taminiau to work towards the same when he returned to his native Holland. He is not the first to put shipping containers to use as co-working modules, with similar setups to be found everywhere from Chile, to Portugal to the Netherlands itself.
Unlike the examples mentioned above, Taminiau's creation is designed to be temporary only, with his team putting a big emphasis on keeping a small footprint. That means no concrete piles for the foundation and everything can be packed up after 10 years.
At the heart of Startup Village is communal outdoor space for events, with the shipping containers stacked around it. Those containers are insulated, lockable and properly sealed with low-energy infrared heating to keep things toasty in the winter. The windows open up in the summer for fresh air to flow through.
The containers and their surroundings are covered with greenery to help keep them cool in the summer, with the foliage on the roof also acting as a rainwater buffer. The containers come in a couple of variations, with residents of Startup Village able to chose from 20 ft (6 m) containers and larger 40 ft (12 m) containers.
"The shipping container (acts) as a metaphor for a garage in which a lot of big companies had their first office (like Apple and Microsoft)," reads Taminiau's statement. "By placing all these "garages" next to each other a dynamic village arises. The startups will inspire, (cross-sectoral) collaborate, exchange knowledge and produce unexpected and paradigm-shifting creations."
The video below offers a look at Startup Village's residents in action.
Source: Startup Village