Taichung Cultural Center proposal calls for 1,620 recycled shipping containers


June 21, 2013

LOT-EK's proposal calls for the use of 1,620 recycled shipping containers as a building material (Image: LOT-EK)

LOT-EK's proposal calls for the use of 1,620 recycled shipping containers as a building material (Image: LOT-EK)

Image Gallery (10 images)

New York-based architectural company LOT-EK has unveiled its proposal for the Taiwan Taichung City Cultural Center. The concept comprises a public library and fine arts museum, both of which feature sustainable tech in the form of solar panels, water recycling, and green roofs. The project is to be constructed using 1,620 recycled shipping containers as a primary building material.

Both the library and fine arts museum feature large atriums. A continuous study desk running along the library's inner edge, and "reading bridges" reaching across its atrium to produce shared spaces. The fine arts museum's atrium, meanwhile, incorporates a triangular central space suitable for art installations, performances, and meetings. The museum also sports a rooftop garden that can be used for outdoor cinema viewing during summer evenings.

The facades of the public library and fine arts museum are perforated with small holes at key points in order to allow natural light to be utilized, and a green roof is complemented by vertical gardens. Both buildings measure 200,000 sq ft (18,500 sq m) each, and they are laid out in the shape of a parallelogram.

Up on the roof, solar panels provide electricity (though no details are available), and a water recycling system of some sort filters rainwater and grey-water, repurposing it for irrigation, filling toilets, cleaning, and temperature-control systems.

LOT-EK cites its choice of 1,620 recycled shipping containers as a practical and affordable basis for the design, and the company makes reference to a process of "cutting, shifting, and opening, [to] create an extraordinary collective object," though again, there's no finer details on exactly how this will be achieved. The shipping containers themselves would be sourced from unused units located in ports worldwide.

Perhaps one to take with a grain of salt, then, though LOT-EK does have over 20 years experience in creating buildings from shipping containers, so should be in a position to bring it about, should the proposal go forward.

Source: LOT-EK via Inhabitat

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

It seems to me Taiwan is on the wrong end of the transport pipeline to be solving construction issues with freight containers.

Bob Ehresman

I think that covering the roof in solar collectors is better than plants. If water recycling is legal it is good.

re; Bob Ehresman

Shipping cost is usually weight based so putting empty containers on an otherwise underloaded ship does not cost that much. I don't think it is really a good idea but it should be workable.


As was mentioned the surplus of cargo containers is in the USA as we import far more than we export (if you exclude jobs and capital and weaponry). Maybe we should be turning these into prisons where we already spend more in total each year than we do on schools. Good for all the private detention/concentration camps springing up all around the USA as well.

Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles