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Shipping container community center services Shanghai's migrant workers


March 5, 2014

The Community Cube center was built to service Shanghai's migrant workers (Photo: Jennifer Ha)

The Community Cube center was built to service Shanghai's migrant workers (Photo: Jennifer Ha)

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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.

Source: INCLUDED via Arch Daily

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

Needed on US Mex border to temp house illegals xing border alone add fence, watchtower & CCTV cameras & U have Instant Temporary Jail. Place mines outside fence area,

Stephen Russell

I think it is a very clever use of the shipping containers.

With all the usages for shipping containers, one would think that there will be - eventually - a shortage of shipping containers. The shipping container is a blank canvas that is just waiting for a creative person to use it.


If this trend continues... Imagine a container ship arriving at a port or trains pulling into a terminal, the cargo transferred to tractor-trailer rigs, and a whole town going up in days at the other end of the road trip.

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