Stacked Shipping Containers Create a New Model For Urban Living in South Africa
Located on a triangular site in Maboneng, an area of recent urban transformation and renewal, DRIVELINES Studios is a 7-story mixed-use building made from repurposed shipping containers. Award-winning studio LOT-EK and architect Anita Du Plessis designed the building as two residential bars that follow the angles of the site, framing a private interior courtyard between.
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The organization of the buildings closely resembles that of a billboard. The project's colorful exterior facades are flat and flush with the site lines, presenting a boldly graphic display to the public eye. Behind, a series of open staircases, the elevator tower, and several circulation bridges look out upon the interior courtyard.
The architects worked with a palette of metal mesh, concrete, and colored shipping containers to create a bold dwelling that revitalizes the urban core while promoting sustainable construction. The buildings' colors were determined by what containers were available at the time of construction. The containers were stacked and cut on site, and then combined like building blocks to form the structure's overall shape.
Each unit features large windows formed by a diagonal cut that runs through the container from corner to center. This creates a steady rhythmic pattern across the facade, while providing each occupant with daylight and views.
The ground level includes both residential and retail spaces, along with a communal courtyard and pool for the residents. The six levels above are filled with residential units, all of which are open plan studios varying in size from 300–600 square feet. Although compact in size, the dwellings are a big stepping stone in re-imagining how urban living can be designed.
Architect of Record: Anita Du Plessis
Builder / General Contractor: TRI-Star
Civil Engineer: DG Consulting Engineers