Located on the corner of a small alley in Torigoe, Tokyo, one can find two shipping containers that appear to have been carelessly stacked on top of one another. On closer inspection, however, a large rear door opens to reveal a modern office and gallery space that stretches over two levels.
Built using two reclaimed 40 ft (12 m) shipping containers, the inconspicuous 394 sq. ft (36.66 sqm) building is called CC4441 and was designed by Japanese architectural firm, Tomokazu Hayakawa.
To create a better use of space, the base container was cut into two parts that are positioned perpendicular to one another, forming two small rooms that face in towards one another and are connected via a central exterior courtyard. The second container was then placed above the two smaller rooms and is accessible via the exterior staircase.
The exterior facade is treated with a black varnish and the interior shells are lined with timber framing. The wooden interior meant the structure would meet local building requirements while also making it earthquake resistant. The interior walls are painted white to keep the space light and expansive, appropriate for an ever-changing gallery space.
Construction of the innovative office design took two and half months to complete, costing ¥13 million (US$127,000) in total.