Have you ever passed by a shipping container structure and imagined where the oversized metallic boxes journeyed to before they settled down? The bright red Caribbeing House is a cargotecture pavilion that celebrates Caribbean culture and New Yorkers who, like the shipping container it's made of, have come from far and wide to make NYC their home. Designed by Caribbeing founder Shelley Worrell and architect Sabine U. Miedlich of Studio SUM, the mobile, multi-purpose cultural space can be used to host gallery exhibitions, events, trunkshows and other community events like BKLYN Designs, where we first stumbled upon it back in May.
Founded by Worrell in 1999, Caribbeing is a Flatbush-based non-profit organization with the goal of enriching the local community through Caribbean art and culture. The roving Caribbeing House travels all over the city to music and art festivals, museums and events, but can be found stationed at the Flatbush Caton Vendors Market on the corner of Flatbush and Caton avenues when it’s not scheduled to appear elsewhere.
The container that makes up the Caribbeing House didn’t come from the Caribbean, (Worrell sourced it from New Jersey-based TRS, a company that specializes in repurposing shipping containers), but upholds an island feel with breezy “falling doors” that let in air and light.
“As luck would have it, I have a good friend Sabine U. Miedlich from Berlin, Germany who happens to have her own architectural and design studio/Studio SUM and was visiting during the early phases and she generously developed the concept of the falling doors for the customization of the unit,” Worrell told us. “The thinking was that the doors will add more light to the space and also that it would be a mobile art + cultural space that could be replicated in the future.”
The repurposed doors and windows were donated to Caribbeing by the Flatbush Caton Market.
Worrell noted that because the specially designed falling doors are extremely heavy, electric winches were installed so that they can be opened and closed at the push of a button.
The interior of the shipping container is clad in plywood, which acts as a blank canvas for art installations and events. Local designer Andrew Hamm designed and installed the custom oak floors for the unit.
To check out the Caribbeing House for yourself, head to the Caribbeing Facebook page for updates about its latest whereabouts.