While it may not exceed the grand scope of the Black Gold project, the above pictured design notches it up on the architectural level with its ‘angled take’ on the rising trend of shipping container houses. Conceived by Tel Aviv-based studio Potash Architects, the building is unpretentiously named as the Shipping Container Terminal, and it serves as an office/technical facility at the Port of Ashdod (one of Israel’s major commercial ports). In fact, the architects were inspired by this industrial seafront location – so much so that they decided to replicate the ‘harbor’ environment via the ubiquitous shipping containers. However, being ubiquitous in this case doesn’t quite translate to mundane, with the design aptly showcasing its flair and vibrancy normally not associated with big., metallic storage boxes.
To that end, the ‘piece de resistance’ of the building arguably relates to the inclined shipping container beside the main entrance. Angled at 30 degrees, this metallic box flaunts its three glazing facades (that replace the original steel walls), along with a scissor stair slotted inside the structure. In essence, it serves as the visual focal point of the entire design, while also serving the practical purpose of connecting two levels of the building. Furthermore, the tilted space is adequately supported on two stress points, thus maintaining its structural integrity.
As for the collective scope of the building, the Shipping Container Terminal is composed of a total of six containers – with four of them on the ground floor encompassing offices, technical facilities and event spaces; and two on the upper floor accounting for other offices. These conventional zones are accompanied by a reinforced concrete shelter (between two containers), built in accordance to a specific building bylaw of the Israeli Home Front Command.
But beyond such ‘serious’ structural modifications, it is the sprightly nature of the architectural design that tickles our fancy. As the project architect Sivan Joseph, made it clear –
The inspiration was drawn by the way containers are stacked across the facility. We wanted to extend that narrative and add some playfulness to differentiate it from its surroundings and accentuate the recreational function of the building. It also made a lot of sense from a sustainable standpoint because in this particular project, used shipping containers were an abundant resource.