Having whet their appetite for "cargo-tecture" with the Artworks Elephant incubator space, creative property development company Stow Projects tapped Doone Silver Kerr for a new shipping container project: a contemporary apart-hotel concept in central London.
Inspired by "sustainable placemaking," Stow tasked the firm to design the building—dubbed Stow-Away Waterloo—using 26 "end-of-life" shipping containers. The repurposed units were first trimmed down to a 30-foot length and partly finished in an off-site factory before they were flat packed and fitted out on-site.
"We believe in recycling and using products to their fullest potential," says Ross Kerr, Director of Doone Silver Kerr. "By utilizing used shipping containers, we conserved energy and the use of natural resources, and particularly benefited from cost reductions in the raw material."
Stacked to a height of five stories, the hotel features 20 micro-apartments—each inside a recycled shipping container—atop a ground-floor reception and wine bar. As a destination for short and long-term stays, Stow-Away Waterloo also offers the flexibility of remote check-in and check-out.
To respect the urban context of the Lower Marsh Conservation Area, the containers were painted white in reference to the stucco-fronted properties along Lower Marsh. Projecting steel fins were also welded to the exterior, creating a striking sculptural effect that provides privacy and protection from the sun.
Each 200-square-foot container apartment includes a super king-size bed that spans the width of the studio; a walk-in shower with toiletries; a flat-screen smart TV; storage space; a wardrobe; a dining table with two chairs; and a fully-equipped kitchenette with a microwave grill, a cooktop, fridge, and dishwasher.
In addition to natural finishes that include FSC-certified timber and marble, the stylishly appointed studios feature "a muted color palette that subtly shifts from light to dark to evoke a greater sense of space, and to further ensure guest comfort by preventing a ‘tunnel effect’ sensation," notes the hotel.
Stow-Away Waterloo was also created with replicability in mind; Stow hopes to expand their brand to other properties in London and beyond.
Of his favorite aspects of the project, Kerr shares: "Meeting one of the first guests – a family so enamored with sleeping in a shipping container their children didn’t want to leave – made us feel like we had got something right."
Book your stay at Stow-Away Waterloo here.
Planning a trip to the UK? Check out these other stays:
Builder/ General Contractor: CMT Construction
Sound Engineer: MLM Acoustics - Mark Scaife
M&E: Ferguson Brown / Piet Sportel
Other: MLM Building Control/ Peter Louis
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