There is some ongoing debate about whether it makes sense to build with shipping containers, considering some of the various issues that might render them less-than-ideal relative to other housing options. Nevertheless, it doesn't stop people from converting them into houses, shopping malls and housing on barges.
Finding that middle ground in that debate is TAK Architects, who transformed a stack of three shipping containers into a eclectic hostel in the Vietnamese ocean resort town of Nha Trang.
Instead of cargo, the colourful steel structures now hold the hostel's family-oriented suites and dormitory style bunkbeds, all redone in modern comfort.
Located a mere three minutes walk from the beach, Ccasa Hostel's aim is to create a welcoming atmosphere where visitors feel part of a family. The focus then is not on the shipping containers painted in bright, primary colours, but rather on the communal spaces created around these volumes, such as the shared kitchen and roof terrace. Pergolas or outdoor walkways, shaded with living greenery, are used to provide access, as well as natural cooling and ventilation.
The hostel's unique character is highlighted by the use of recycled encaustic cement tiles, old wood windows, and flat winnowing baskets throughout, all of which are references to aspects of traditional Vietnamese architecture and agriculture.
So skirting the questionable issue of whether shipping containers can and should be used as long-term housing, this project shows that recycling them as structures for shorter occupancy, in a tropical climate that allows for maximum time outdoors, might be the way to go. More over at ArchDaily.