Sophisticated Simplicity with Shipping Containers

Skinners Playground

The Skinners Playground project by Phooey Architects of Melbourne, Australia is a project that makes compelling use of shipping containers.  Many container architecture projects do little that breaks out of the strong rectilinear form of the component boxes.  While only four shipping containers were used for Skinners Playground, they are cut and amended in such as way as to make much more of them than simply four box-shaped rooms.  Even if the exteriors had been painted over, it would be immediately obvious that this was built from shipping containers.  But, at the same time, this is a case of the whole being far more than merely a sum of its parts.

In addition to using the shipping containers as the primary forms, other materials in the project were largely recycled, reused, or saved from demolition.  It was the architects’ goal for this project to produce zero waste.  Parts from the containers that were cut out to create openings in the containers were saved and re-used to create other elements of the building, such as the side of the stairs and the projecting overhangs. 

What is most engaging about this building, though, is the way that it creates spaces outside the building, beyond merely using the blocks as structure for interior volumes.  The engagement with the site and the incorporation of landscaping to create spaces surrounding the building make this an exceptionally good example of what can be done with basic materials well orchestrated.

Phooey Architects

Via The Cool Hunter


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  • http://www.rauserarch.com Eric Rauser

    One of best applications of containers in architecture that I’ve seen.

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