The shipping container has been the global standard for transportation modules since 1956, but with the great surplus of containers floating around, architects are now putting them to good use by retrofitting them into houses, offices, hotels, bridges and much, much more. A new exhibit at NRW-Forum Düsseldorf is currently showcasing over 100 examples of shipping container architecture -- or 'cargotecture' -- to showcase "the building type of the near future". From now until September 4th, visitors can view over 100 designs submitted by architects -- from existing buildings to far-fetched ideas yet to be constructed. Read on for a look at some of our favorite designs!
‘Containers are a symbol of the way we live and dwell in our globalized, mobile, nomadic age,’ says exhibition organizer Werner Lippert when asked to explain what gave him the idea for the exhibition. What was once a simple way to transport goods has now become a sign of the times that stands for new principles in sustainability – reuse, recycling, durability, longevity, low-cost and disaster-proof design. Containers are relatively cheap in the grand scheme of things and are very versatile, as they act as a basic building block. They can be stacked, buried, hacked, tilted, floated, bent, combined and so much more.
Hundreds of examples of shipping container architecture already exist, including pop up restaurants, retail stores, hotels, homes, art studios, schools, emergency medical clinics and shelters, dorms, apartments, offices, sculptures and on and on. Cargotecture is still a new field, so we can expect to see many advances and creative concepts come to fruition in the near future.
The NRW-Forum exhibit has set out to highlight the creative works that already exist while offering a fascinating overview of what is possible. Hundreds of architects and designers submitted their work and much of it was included in the exhibit, from which a catalogue will be produced for sale. Additionally, the Chamber of Architects in NRW will be organizing a series of lectures on shipping containers and architecture by renowned experts.
Images Courtesy of NRW-Forum