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The Ugly But Functional Shipping Container House

Posted By G Living Staff Monkies On March 1, 2010 @ 12:08 am In Architecture / Interior Design | No Comments

What do you get when you combine the ever popular shipping containers with old airplane fuselages? A Mobile Dwelling Unit, of course. The brainchild of LOT-EK, this brilliant architectural design has been on the market since 2002, and is the model from which other module-based designs are now being based. Led by Ada Tolla and Guiseppe Lignano, LOT-EK’s mission is to blur any boundaries between art, architecture, information and entertainment. Their groundbreaking approach to design and architecture is redefining the way we as a populace interact with industry and technology.

But there is a glaring problem with this design. It’s just plain ugly. Which is too bad, because MDU is the same firm who designed the Puma City mobile store made from multiple containers and that one is pretty cool. Well, except for the use of the orange again. A colorist should really talk with these guys. They use orange in hazard area’s for a reason, its a bit disturbing.

The premise is a simple one, to take a single shipping container and transform it into a single dwelling unit that is completely flexible, mobile, and scalable. The Mobile Dwelling Unit (MDU) is fully functional as a residence via its sturdy design, which combines engineering and architectural design seamlessly. The units have built-in furniture, and are divided into three sub-volume spaces designated for social, entertainment and private functions. Long, horizontal windows in each sub-volume space allow natural light to enter, while naturally and brightly colored plywood interior surfaces and fluorescent lighting allow for comfortable living with a multitude of customization options.

These units can also be combined with other modules to create larger scale dwellings. They can be tiered and installed with elevators, stairs, power, water and sewage systems to create dwellings that are limited only by one’s imagination.

LOT-EK’s description of the multiple MDU system is as follows (via their website):

“The vertical harbor is in constant transformation as MDUs are loaded and unloaded from the permanent rack. Like pixels in a digital image, temporary patterns are generated by the presence or absence of MDUs in different locations along the rack, reflecting the ever-changing composition of these colonies scattered around the globe.”

It is wonderful to see the MDU gaining in popularity. With its function, ease of construction and facility of movement — not to mention its reuse of materials — these new housing options prove that there is a brilliant creativity in the Green space for living comfortably.

It is indeed the case that recycling is good for much more than the bottle and the can.

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