When Your Dorm Is A Shipping Container: Student Housing Designed by Cattani Architects

Who doesn’t love a nice stack of shipping containers? As you might guess, the stack of containers above is no ordinary stack, but a stack that has been plumbed, electrified, and finished into college dormitories somewhere in France.  The project’s architect, Cattani (I tried to find her website but only found this article about an incompetent plastic surgeon) says that she actually avoided the stacking effect to make the individual living units feel more open and independent. To that end, the containers are supported on a frame that separates them ever so slightly from each other and allows the boxes to stagger in plan. Inside the rooms, windows at both ends of the container flood the interior with natural light.  I’m not sure what your college dorm look(s/ed) like, but these are much better than the sad and crowded stack of bricks I stumbled toward after a long day of classes.

Alex Dent

September 18, 2012 / By

Shipping Container Tiles by Jason Miller

I saw the tiles above over on Design*Sponge and started to drool immediately. The tiles are made to look like shipping containers, one of the ‘coolest’ things to design with these days (see the Freitag Shop). I love all the colors the tiles come in, and the proportions of the boxes are so spot on, it’s amazing. It would be awesome to have a bathroom wall covered in these, or even a floor!
Check out Jason’s site to see all of his other projects as well!


Bobby Solomon

August 20, 2007 / By

Del Popolo Food Truck, A 14 Ton Wood Burning Oven On Wheels

Del Popolo Food Truck

Del Popolo Food Truck

Del Popolo Food Truck

How important is atmosphere in a restaurant? It’s pretty important for most folks, but designers and architects may pay special attention to the quality of the details: the light fixtures hanging from the ceiling, the acoustics, the type on the menu– stuff like that. So how do you evaluate design when you’re eating from a food truck?  We may get a few clues from the Del Popolo food truck. Instead of an immersive environment, we have a mobile fragment that collapses the work of an entire restaurant kitchen into the space of a rental truck.

Del Popolo Food Truck

It’s a hefty truck, though, weighting some fourteen tons as it climbs up and brakes down the hills of San Francisco. Part of the weight comes from the enormous, wood-burning oven bolted into the back of the repurposed shipping container. The oven is nicely framed by the black steel windows that unfold, opening the side of the truck to customers and the surroundings. And just like in a restaurant, the details here are telling: the wood for the oven, the black steel, and the type stuck on the window create an atmosphere around the truck even as its surroundings change.

Alex Dent

January 14, 2013 / By

Heather Rasmussen: DestructConstruct

Somewhere between Frank Gehry models and Thomas Demand you’ll find the DestructConstruct series by Heather Rasmussen.  Like Demand, Rasmussen renders images in colored paper, but unlike Demand (and more like Gehry,) she’s happy to express a cheap material that holds everything in place.  In her own words:

“The series DestructConstruct is based on found photographs of shipping container accidents downloaded from the Internet. Each found image is used as a model for a sculpture that is constructed for the production of the photograph. [...] This process transforms the containers into pristine patterns of color and shape, thereby confusing scale and altering the perception of the shipping container as an object. The paper is now seen as fragile, crushed or torn due to an unknown circumstance.”

Incidentally, her work was featured in a recent publication: Unfolded, Paper in Design, Art, Architecture and Industry. Among the other artists featured in the book are Frank Gehry and Thomas Demand.


Alex Dent

July 7, 2010 / By