A group led by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects — who designed the Bayside Marina Hotel we featured not long ago — has formed the Ex-Container Project with the intention of using shipping containers as disaster relief housing for people displaced by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. With shipping containers being used around the world as permanent buildings, these temporary residences are low cost and can eventually be turned into long term residences if needed.
Shipping containers are actually an quite elegant solution for disaster relief situations. They are sturdier than regularly used temporary housing, are inexpensive to aquire and easy to transport so they can be quickly relocated to house people anywhere around the world. They are also stackable and can create multi-level buildings safely and easily, if necessary.
The Ex-Container Project is currently raising money to send more retrofitted shipping containers to victims in Japan — you can donate here. They have set their hopes high and are looking to be able to create small communities for displaced groups with this easy to use building format, in addition to housing they will be building community gathering centers.
Photos of the Bayside Marina Hotel courtesy of Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects