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Cargotecture – the Rise of Recycling Shipping Containers

Cargotecture – the Rise of Recycling Shipping Containers | scatol8® |

One man’s trash is said to be another man’s treasure, and now old cargo shipping containers are rapidly becoming sought-after treasure in the architecture industry.

The term cargotecture, coined in 2005 by HyBrid Architecture, is used to describe any building partially or entirely built from recycled ISO shipping containers. It may seem strange that such a simple, aesthetically-unappealing box could be so loved by modern architects, but the increased use of reclaimed materials in architecture is starting to show no bounds.

In a world dominated by mass production, architects are being forced to find alternative ways of designing buildings that will make the smallest impact on the earth. Extending the life of discarded materials and saving salvageable items from landfill is a completely viable approach.

Shipping containers are resistant to fire, termites, hurricanes and earthquakes, proving themselves to be extremely resilient.


Somewhat like stacking blocks of Lego, steel or aluminum shipping containers are a perfectly strong building block...

Via Lauren Moss
Pierre R Chantelois's comment, January 12, 2013 9:56 PM
Quelle excellente idée. Si les gouvernements pouvaient en réquisitionner quelques milliers, ils pourraient en faire don à Haïti pour accéler la mise à niveau de la qualité de vie de la population. Un 12 décembre, il y a trois ans...
oliviersc's comment, January 13, 2013 10:35 AM
Hélas, les bonnes idées ne sont pas rentables...
Natalie Curtis's curator insight, March 8, 2013 9:27 AM

I love that I've finally found the neologism for this type of architecture finally! Cargotecture is an upcoming trend in the architect's world and this article is actually one of the most brief and yet informative blogs I may have found in my short search, so far of these shipping container homes and buildings. The containers prove to be a very useful and easily moveable. They are in great abundance, which is fantastic since they are so often used for their resilience to fire, termites, hurricanes and earthquakes. So there's my answer finally to why these containers are becoming so popular amongst architects.

Rescooped by scatol8 from sustainable architecture!

Materiality, Light + Thermal Control: House in Yamasaki by Tato Architects

Materiality, Light + Thermal Control: House in Yamasaki by Tato Architects | scatol8® |

Located in a residential area in Hyogo Prefecture, the house was designed for a family with two children. “The residents requested that, as the area has short hours of sunlight in winter, they’d like to bring in as much light as possible,” said Yo Shimada of Tato Architects.

More from the architects:

I wanted to create light, stable indoor climate and came up with a plan of three sheds of house type arranged on a 1.8 m high foundation platform. The first floor was lowered by 760 mm below ground to optimize the heating system and regulate temperature, while preserving views to the surrounding mountains and sky for the entire residential neighborhood.

The bathroom shed and the sunroom shed provide lighting and ventilation for the lower floor and form an overhead courtyard. The sunroom collects heat in winter, and exhausts heat in summer through the five motor-operated windows.

Corrugated polycarbonate panels are used for outer walls of the three sheds to take in solar radiation, with moisture and water-absorbing sheets between the panels and structure.The inside of the walls are formed with a heat insulating layer, and the ceiling and walls of bathroom are further filled up with light transmitting thermal insulation material of reproduced PET bottles.

A house appearing as small as a peasant’s work shed of an innovative material as corrugated panels creates a new vernacular in this agricultural area. Read the article and view more photos of this very unique house that connects new and old within the rural landscape.

Via Lauren Moss
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