London’s Container City – Recycling at its Best
Bright, colourful, affordable and best of all – recycled. That’s London’s alternative ‘Container City’, a series of offices, studio space and accommodation that have been crafted out of former shipping containers.
Completed in two stages, Container City 1 and 2 – managed by Urban Space Management Ltd – are located adjacent to each other at Trinity Buoy Wharf in Leamouth on the edge of the Thames, a stone’s throw across the water from London’s iconic 02 Arena.
Container City 1 was completed in just five months in 2001, offering 12 work studios across 4,800 sq ft, with additional living apartments added later. The project used 30 containers to create 22 separate units, and a massive 80% of the building has been created from recycled material.
As an extension, the ziggurat-shaped Container City 2 was added in response to popular demand. It is linked to Container City 1 by inter-connecting bridges and a lift, and was completed in 2002 to provide a further 22 studios over five floors, using another 30 containers.
More recently, shipping containers have been used in other parts of the country such as East Manchester. The Sharp Project is a new business complex designed for use as office space, and is being well received by local businesses looking for ‘green’ workspace.
“The modular design is perfect for maximising space, look great and are really popular as they are so cost effective,” commented Sue Woodward, Director of the Sharp Project.
This innovative use of recycled materials such as this is clearly beginning to catch on. Even Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud has taken note – commending them as “Funky, sustainable and cheap.”
Although bricks and mortar are sure to remain the favourite long-term option, this unique solution for simple and affordable workspace is helping many start-ups to get off the ground, and is helping the office space industry to earn a few more ‘green’ points too.
Are you aware of other recycled offices? Get in touch by leaving a comment below.