According to architect Jiwon Baik of Seoul-based multidisciplinary studio URBANTAINER, containers are cheaper to mass-produce than concrete structures. Plus, they can be removed and reused, making them a much more sustainable mode of architecture.
Baik, who has worked on a handful of remarkable shipping container projects—such as Common Ground and the National Theatre Company of Korea—says that compared to reinforced concrete construction, container modular architecture reduces carbon emissions by 60 percent, costs by 50-percent less, and requires 30-percent less time to build.
His colleague, interior designer Younjin Jeong, believes that container architecture also solves some of the economic challenges faced by retailers and hospitality operators. "Modular container structures are mobile, so tenants don’t need to buy the land—they just rent it—and after their lease ends, they can deconstruct the structure and build it again on a new site," she says.
Below, we look at five interesting ways that shipping containers are being used in South Korea.
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