Architecture

Shipping container-based office is Made to be Moved

Copenhagen's Arcgency gets shipping container-based architecture right
Copenhagen's Arcgency gets shipping container-based architecture right
View 22 Images
Copenhagen's Arcgency gets shipping container-based architecture right
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Copenhagen's Arcgency gets shipping container-based architecture right
Made to be Moved takes the Scandinavian climate in its stride
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Made to be Moved takes the Scandinavian climate in its stride
The building comprises three stories of stacked containers
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The building comprises three stories of stacked containers
It measures a total floorspace of 660 sq m (7,104 sq ft)
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It measures a total floorspace of 660 sq m (7,104 sq ft)
Made to be Moved features used shipping containers – complete with dents – that have been painted grey to produce a uniform look
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Made to be Moved features used shipping containers – complete with dents – that have been painted grey to produce a uniform look
The office is currently located on an expensive plot in Nordhavnen, and will be moved to another site in the near future
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The office is currently located on an expensive plot in Nordhavnen, and will be moved to another site in the near future
Arcgency designed a building around shipping containers that could be disassembled with relative ease
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Arcgency designed a building around shipping containers that could be disassembled with relative ease
"The span between the containers is utilized as flexible spaces for primary workspace functions," explains Arcgency, concerning the design
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"The span between the containers is utilized as flexible spaces for primary workspace functions," explains Arcgency, concerning the design
"The interiors of the containers can be used for secondary functions such as meeting rooms, workshops and storage," adds the firm
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"The interiors of the containers can be used for secondary functions such as meeting rooms, workshops and storage," adds the firm
Made to be Moved features used shipping containers – complete with dents – that have been painted grey to produce a uniform look
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Made to be Moved features used shipping containers – complete with dents – that have been painted grey to produce a uniform look
The firm wrapped the containers in 300 mm (11 in) Rockwool insulated sandwich panels
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The firm wrapped the containers in 300 mm (11 in) Rockwool insulated sandwich panels
The office requires a modest level of heating in winter, and only passive ventilation in summer
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The office requires a modest level of heating in winter, and only passive ventilation in summer
The firm estimates that the overall structure is around 90 percent recyclable
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The firm estimates that the overall structure is around 90 percent recyclable
Made to be Moved took a total of 4 months to construct
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Made to be Moved took a total of 4 months to construct
The building was completed earlier this year
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The building was completed earlier this year
Arcgency reports that a similar non-container based office in the area would cost somewhere in the area of €2,200 ($2,446), per square mete
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Arcgency reports that a similar non-container based office in the area would cost somewhere in the area of €2,200 ($2,446), per square mete
Made to be Moved cost around €800 (US$889), per square meter
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Made to be Moved cost around €800 (US$889), per square meter
Copenhagen's Arcgency gets shipping container-based architecture right
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Copenhagen's Arcgency gets shipping container-based architecture right
Made to be Moved takes the Scandinavian climate in its stride
19/22
Made to be Moved takes the Scandinavian climate in its stride
Made to be Moved features used shipping containers – complete with dents – that have been painted grey to produce a uniform look
20/22
Made to be Moved features used shipping containers – complete with dents – that have been painted grey to produce a uniform look
The building was completed earlier this year
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The building was completed earlier this year
Made to be Moved took a total of four months to construct
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Made to be Moved took a total of four months to construct

Copenhagen's Arcgency recently completed a shipping container-based office that plays to the container's strengths as a construction material and addresses its weaknesses. Dubbed Made to be Moved, the recyclable building takes the chilly Scandinavian climate in its stride, and is designed to be easily dismantled when the time comes to move it to another location.

Comprising three stories and a total floorspace of 660 sq m (7,104 sq ft), Made to be Moved features stacked shipping containers that are painted grey to produce a uniform look. The office is currently located on an expensive plot in Nordhavnen and will be moved to another site in the near future. Therefore, Arcgency was sure to design the building so that it could be disassembled with relative ease.

"The span between the containers is utilized as flexible spaces for primary workspace functions," explains Arcgency, concerning the design. "The interiors of the containers can be used for secondary functions such as meeting rooms, workshops and storage. The raw container structure is set up in just two days. The container stack is wrapped with high performing insulated sandwich panels, also functioning as vapor barrier and cladding. They are bolted directly into the container frame – as are the windows, roof elements and interior floor slabs. Visible installations are used for water, electricity and heating, making it easy to set up and take down."

Made to be Moved took a total of 4 months to construct
Made to be Moved took a total of 4 months to construct

Of course, the big worry with shipping container-based buildings in all but the mildest of climates is their lack of insulation. However, Arcgency used 300-mm (11-in) Rockwool insulated sandwich panels, which have a U-value of 0.13 W/m2K, and used triple-glazed windows throughout. The firm reports that the office only requires a modest amount of heating in winter for a building of its type and location, and only open windows to cool it naturally in summer. In addition, the structure itself is an estimated 90 percent recyclable.

Made to be Moved took a total of four months to construct and was completed earlier this year at a cost of around €800 (US$889), per square meter. In comparison, Arcgency reports that a similar non-container based office in the area would cost roughly €2,200 ($2,446) per square meter.

Source: Arcgency

2 comments
Scott in California
This obsession with building with shipping containers has to be something other than cost. I am skeptical of the given "savings" in the article. If some firm was robot-welding "Lego Walls" on an automated assembly line, out of steel, with enough volume, such walls (with strong bolt-together flanges) would seem to be much more suitable for building. I think the costlier "conventional" building includes drafting and permitting, and inspections, which shipping container-buildings seem to avoid. I recently went into an indoor shopping mall that is being gutted and renovated for new tenants. In a completely water-tight, high-ceiling building, they have brought in shipping containers! Then, they cut them and chopped them...it's all very ugly!!
RESISTANCE
I love Scott's idea of " LEGO" type construction. Maybe with 3D printers, it will happen in the future. Some shipping container homes are gorgeous because they aren't just slapped together and called a "house". They can withstand earthquakes, fires, floods and insects pretty well. This office building above is ugly as hell with no creativity involved. It could have been designed a lot better for aesthetics.