Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on February 17, 2009
London’s Docklands. Those two words used to strike fear in my heart. I once worked for a television network in the Docklands, and the only transport link to our studio was the dreaded DLR (Dockland’s Light Railway). This computer-controlled light railway was stationary as often as it was moving, for reasons as inexplicable as “leaves on the track”. God, I miss England.
But with opening of the Jubilee Line several years ago, transport links to the area are much improved. Ditto for local housing.
Container City, located at Trinity Buoy Wharf near London’s only lighthouse, is a modular, multi-unit development which provides affordable accommodations — a rare commodity in London. Constructed from recycled shipping containers, innovative developers Urban Space Management cleverly broke free of the “one container, one unit” approach (I mean, living in box doesn’t sounds so great, right?) to create 37 funky live/work spaces from 50 recycled shippers.
Stacked five stories high, architects Nicolas Lacey and Burp Happold, opted for a more flexible approach to design, allowing for a variety of interiors with varying degrees of inter-connectivity. Fitted with sliding windows, portholes, over-hanging balconies and a splash of paint, you’d hardly know your home once carried cargo across the seas.
Re-thinking, recycling and repurposing really are de rigeur in our environmental age. And thanks to the ingenuity of its creators, Container City is a nice example of thinking outside the box.