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SHIPPING CONTAINERS

March 24, 2014

CONTAINER RE-USE

The STRIB may have slanted the comments of Pat Higgins, Mpls. Building Official regarding the LOT-EK plan being recommended by Akquaracy & Scott Patingo…or perhaps Higgins, indeed has grave reservations about the proposed plan to create the biggest shipping container building in North America…Nevertheless, I’m sending out a BIG YES for the futurist thinking.

Whatever the case, the extra scrutiny is most likely warranted, as Minnesota has no experience with this medium and indeed, we need to ensure “structural integrity, durability, fire resistance and…energy conservation standards”.

But I am celebrating the forward thinking!

One of the few design books I am NOT planning to part with is a recent Taschen compilation of the best Temporary Architecture around the world.  [Temporary being a relative term-generally emerging to mean “not built to last for centuries”, i.e. out of marble and stone. J]

Amongst the structures featured from around the world are indeed those made of shipping containers.  It is the one medium I regret I was not able to work with in my events career as they are so versatile and such a fabulous “reuse” application!   Not to mention, available and “cheap!

In Sao Paulo, containers housed an international video art exhibition in Villa Lobos Park; in Spain, they were used as housing modules by the Municipal Society for Urban Rehabilitation; in Tweksbury, New Jersey, they became a three bedroom two-and-a-half bath prefabricated QUIK house.  In Italy, a push button five room home was created from containers; in New York they became “pop-up” stores, and in Alicante Spain and in Boston, Lot-ek and PUMA ised them to create a mighty impressive store for retail and for events.  Copenhagen housed the North Harbor Exhibition in containers, and then re-purposed them for additional cultural events and for event space.

I suggested they be used by Target once for an exhibition in the MCC; and I am sure once Marilyn Nelson and team secure the Super Bowl, there will be some great application opportunities for those festivities.  After all, we did a tent on the frozen lake at Carlson Towers for CBS (I think it was) the last time we hosted Super Bowl!

So hopefully, we will not say NO without some good thought and investigation.  The North Loop warehouses have become apartments and condos, stores, coffee shops and restaurants. What better compliment to the area than to use the shipping containers that once filled all those warehouses with product to help complete the story of the area’s roots!

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