Shipping containers are engineered to stack tens of stores high and withstand the brutality of the high seas. The level of durability provides architects with a great resource for structural framing. After goods are shipped to the United States, the containers tend to pile up as refuse after reaching their destination as it is often cheaper to fabricate a new container than to ship it back empty. They can be attained rather cheaply.
Proportionally, a shipping container can be awkward for designing many spaces. They are long and relatively narrow with short ceilings. These dimensional limitations force architects to combine and stack multiple containers in order to create larger spaces.
Latent Design and Formed Space are creating a “pop-up shop” where these dimensional constraints become something positive for the design. The smaller space creates a more intimate retail setting and a size more akin to a boutique-style shop.
A unique shelving design opens up the interior while creating spaces where a vendor can elegantly display goods. This was achieved by cutting off the sides of the container and attaching rows of oblique wedges to the exterior. This jigsaw facade becomes an opportunity to advertise or create unique branding on the exterior. By placing the pop-up shop in a public plaza on a street with heavy foot traffic, the shop’s form becomes a sort of branding in its own right.
Our hope is that this becomes a model for how to effectively reuse shipping containers. This solution is commercially viable, easy to replicate, and aesthetically pleasing. It is a simple, inexpensive, and environmentally conscious way to create new spaces for people to shop at or explore.