Non-profit organization INCLUDED has produced a new community center for Shanghai's migrant worker community. Dubbed Community Cube, the two-storey 150 sq m (1,614 sq ft) structure was completed in 2013 and comprises a number of used shipping containers as a primary building material.
Based in Shanghai's agriculturally-focused Chongming district, the structure is joined together by metal plates which can be detached, allowing the separate containers to be transported more easily if the migrants need to move on. The interior space is also flexible, and contains a modest library, play area, a computer area, and a main large classroom which can be divided into two rooms using a sliding divider.
The room divider itself, and all suitable furniture sport a whiteboard finish for use as teaching surfaces, while the kids also have small whiteboard-surfaced furniture to draw on. Excess corrugated metal was cleverly re-used as a security fence that encloses the area.
The container doors were drilled with small holes in order to allow light to filter across the floor during sunny weather, and those using the center can open the doors to the outside if conditions allow.
It's not clear how insulation issues were tackled (if at all), and one hopes there's adequate heating for when the colder weather hits. Still, these concerns aside, it's a charming and vibrant space that belies the fact it was built on a shoestring budget.