Today’s feature is a cool development that I have known about for at least a couple of years – Container City. It’s exactly what it sounds like – developments built from shipping containers that are no longer sea/train worthy. What started as a single project in London by Urban Space Management in 2000 has greatly expanded, and Container Cities are now found globally.
The beauty of this type of development is its adaptability: the container itself is meant to be transported anywhere (i.e. trains and boats ship them all the time), you can add or subtract extra floors quickly to meet demand (and by quickly we are talking in terms of days), and there is a lot of potential for different layouts and designs depending on the site specific needs of each location. The video piece below shows some nice interior shots of the spaces which are quite bright and welcoming (contrary to what many people think when they see shipping containers).
I tend to pack-rat ideas and projects that I read about. These ideas and projects then stew in my subconscious until something reminds me of their particular relevance. In this case – I think that a Container City would be an amazing way to redevelop the CP railyard lands in the Warehouse District of Regina (instead of more hotels or strip malls as would be suggested here).
In the grand scheme to redevelop the land north of the tracks, creating a Container City could have great benefits for Regina’s downtown and Warehouse District. The Downtown Plan has a strong focus on increasing the population and density of people living in the downtown area – with some pedways and improved access from these lands to downtown this could be a great step in that direction. What’s more, this type of development could help to increase affordable housing in the city – the video above states the costs to be about $80-100/month for one container live-work space. The video is a few years old, but it is likely that these units would still provide an affordable form of housing when compared to many other options.
The container aspect also strikes me as a great opportunity to acknowledge that space for what it has been historically. Over time there have been innumerable shipping containers on this site – it seems only fitting to use this innovative, modern design to speak to both the future and the past. A project like this can also add a bit of hip design and panache to an area looking for revitalization – it’s also a little reminiscent of Habitat 67 in Montreal (though obviously with a bit more colour)!
I think the Container City idea has a lot of potential for Regina in conjunction with other developments in the Warehouse Disctrict (i.e. potential stadium or increased retail and commercial) and I think it is something that should seriously be considered for the future of the area.
Have a great weekend!