In business, location is everything. But who says you can’t be in business before you find a location (or in this case, before your location is ready)? If you’re Uniqlo, you hire innovative designers LOT-EK to create some temporary venues and jump right in. And if the concept is cool enough, you’ll generate enough free publicity to get your product noticed.
Pretty smart, right? Last year, as they waited for the completion of their swank 36,000 square foot SoHo flagship store, Uniqlo (the Japanese equivalent of H&M) dropped several modified shipping containers around New York City and opened for business.
Functioning somewhere between the style of a summer street fair (common in the city) and a fully operating retail venue, the container stores were located in nine choice New York neighborhoods, including the West Village, Jones Beach, Cobble Hill Brooklyn, Coney Island. Each had vertical strip windows cut into the exterior and was powered by an external generator. The door and ramp opened and closed via hydraulic struts and the insides were lined inside with laminated cubes for shelves.
We’ve seen the container house and the pop up coffee shop, but what about the container construction shelter? Conceived by Dublin-based designer Richard Barnwall, the Linx is a two-story break room comprised of four 20-foot shipping containers. Easily shippable (obviously) and erectable, this temporary structure seems to have everything a construction worker would need, including (it seems) luxury. No more blue porta-potties, the Linx comes equipped with a bathroom, a changing room with showers, office space and a lunchroom. (Evidently Barnwall doesn’t advocate sleeping on the job because there’s no nap room.)
We’re all familiar with coffee to go, but what about a “To Go” coffee house? The world’s first “instant café” is the brainchild of architect and artist Adam Kalkin, whose work involves the design and implementation of “Quik Houses” created from used shipping containers. The instant coffee house was born out of the concept of crate internet cafés (Where’s there’s a computer, there must be coffee, right?) and redesigned from Kalkin’s Push Button House, which previewed at Art Basel Miami Beach.
The Cargo Café can be delivered just about anywhere by truck. From there, it’s a mere push of a button and a 90 second wait for it to open (which it does like a blooming flower) before the fully furnished café it’s ready for business – lights, tables, seats, even a kitchen are included.
Atelier Workshop’s Port-a-Bach shipping container home might just make standard RVs obsolete. A veritable home on-the-go, you can roll into place, fold down one side, make your bed and be right at home. As long as you have some property, of course.
Taking the portability of shipping container housing to an altogether new level of portability, this 20-foot container has been outfitted with an entire studio apartment, including a kitchen and a full bath with a composting toilet. It also has a “non-invasive foundation”, which allows for plenty of flexibility in terms of ground placement.
While two-time solar champs, the University of Colorado, didn’t win last year’s Solar Decathlon held in Washington, D.C. with their CORE house, they did place 7th. Is that good enough for these decathletes? Maybe not, but their house is definitely worth talking about. And here’s to hoping they come back in 2009 to kick some more solar ass.
Like many of the designs at the SD, the spine of CORE is made up of shipping containers for ease in transportation and size requirements of the competition — which is about 800 square feet, much smaller than a typical home.
If you’re a regular follower of the Design section here on G Living, you’re probably aware of my shipping container obsession. These 32,000 pound containers, which decades ago shipped everything from furniture to clothes overseas, are now all sitting around taking up space.
Except, of course, for those that are being used to build disaster relief shelters or affordable housing, like this 1,920 square foot three-container structure in Atlanta. What this place shows is one of the many outside-the-box design possibilities for these recycled containers Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
I’ve heard of students roughing it, but sleeping in freight containers? That’s right. Only it’s not a case of desperate living or some torturous fraternity hazing — it’s a very cool,very useful idea developed by a Dutch company called TempoHousing. Lots of images after the jump
First conceived in the 1930s, the ISO dry freight container has been the universal shipping receptacle worldwide for the past fifty years. You’ve no doubt seen thousands of them in your lifetime.
But could you live in one? Before you say “No way, it’s too small” or “it’s too boring”, check this out: with standard dimensions of 40’ x 8’ x 8’6’, the containers can be stacked (a whopping 8,000 can fit on a large ship) and transported anywhere in the world via water, rail or road.
Those of you who salivate at LOT-EK’s amazing shipping container structures may be wondering whatever happened to the proposed Lafayette Street Tower near New York City’s Chinatown. The building, which received much press last year, was commissioned by Mr. Woo of Young Woo & Associates, who (like me) was intrigued by the design firm’s use of recycled containers in both residential and commercial buildings.
Partially inspired by the industrial feel of the neighborhood, the 19-story tower was slated to be erected at 87 Lafayette Street, adjacent to the city’s former Engine 31 firehouse Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
The best thing about container-type housing is the portability factor. With portability comes options. And options generally reduce waste. It’s like having people over for dinner and bringing out the cheap folding chairs.
That’s exactly what the Travelodge hotel chain proved last year in London. Rather than building costly and permanent hotels in areas with temporarily expanded needs, the company simply erected non-permanent structures using prefab sleep pods. The chain suggested outdoor festivals (such as Burning Man) could greatly benefit from such a concept.