Shipping container architecture, also known as cargotecture, has incorporated outside-the-box building and structure design and created a different approach to traditional building design. Here’s how shipping containers changed architecture.
What Is Shipping Container Architecture?
Shipping container architecture consists of utilizing shipping containers to create structures. It’s a cost-effective means to develop sustainable, eco-friendly buildings that require less time and finances to assemble. Some common uses of shipping containers include trailers, office spaces, snack bars, and residential homes.
Brief History of Shipping Container Architecture
The first shipping containers originate in the 1950s by Malcolm McLean, revolutionizing the transportation industry. Shipping containers were game changers, as crews didn’t have to load and unload individual crates, creating an efficient, convenient, and durable avenue for shipping large cargo.
This led to commercial and residential building structures used for architectural purposes in Asian and European countries. In 1987, Philip C. Clark created a U.S. patent to convert one or numerous shipping containers into livable, habitable buildings. They were “greener” alternatives well before today. The 21st century brought a surge of shipping container builds, often used for emergency shelters and homes.
How Shipping Containers Inspire Architects
Shipping containers changed the landscape of architecture through various means. Firstly, they offer unique aesthetics, creating durable structures that maintain integrity. Secondly, architects can repurpose the steel containers, making it a more sustainable alternative to building entirely from scratch. Lastly, architects can benefit from low-cost shipping containers—a sustainable impact comes without a lack of quality and strength.
The Advantages and Disadvantages
While shipping containers aren’t always perfect, architects should know the pros and cons of future architectural work. Here are the upsides and downsides of cargotecture.
Shipping Container Architecture Pros
As previously stated, shipping containers offer eco-friendly alternatives to architectural design. Manufacturers won’t have to create new building materials; instead, they can repurpose old materials into various building elements. Furthermore, shipping containers enable easy transportation with staking abilities and easy loading onto truck beds, making relocation simple.
Shipping Container Architecture Cons
Shipping containers aren’t flawless means of creating a new architecture. First, they lack temperature and humidity control. Steel shipping containers can increase the risk of higher temperatures that aren’t safe for workers. Additionally, shipping containers don’t offer design flexibility compared to traditional architectural means, restricting projects and possibilities.
Overall, shipping containers have a growing presence in modern architecture. They offer unique design concepts for creating new structures and can transform architectural design landscapes in new ways.