We’ve featured container-architecture here at Inhabitat before — from Lot-Ek’s altered and extruded prefab container houses, to Cargotecture’s Studio 320 and emergency housing. Clearly, we love the idea of using recycled industrial surplus as the starting point for prefab design, and now Urban Space Management has brought shipping containers to multi-unit, larger-scale housing with the introduction of its component-based, flexible, and widely applicable container construction system.

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Container City, located at Trinity Buoy Wharf in the London Docklands, is one such example of a larger scale housing development comprised of recycled shipping containers. The London docklands development is composed of environmentally friendly work studios and live/work lofts stacked on top of each other to create a 5-story building. What’s particularily interesting about Container City is its scale and flexibility. Architect Nicholas Lacey and Buro Happold created a flexible design system that relies on component pieces instead of units. Instead of using a 1 container = 1 unit approach, their system relies on components in various permutations to create very livable, adaptable spaces. Aside from this Container City residential project, the system has been used in projects as diverse as classrooms, office spaces, residential units, retail spaces and even youth centres.

Containers as architecture are just one of the ways in which we can look at objects and find new uses to them. The modular nature of the containers, their adaptability, and the fact that they can be found in industrial surplus make them an ideal prefab material. The pictures show the adaptability of Nicholas Lacey’s Container City design, and well, how really cool looking it is. Love those colours.

+ Container City