Shipping Container Architecture Is So Trendy That In China, They Are Making Knock-offs

Everybody loves shipping container architecture; Since Jetson Green first presented the 香箱乡祈福所, or Xiang Xiang Xiang Pray House on July 10 there are three Google pages of it. Tonghe Shanzhi Landscape Design have made it lovely to look at, with the shipping containers floating in ponds or surrounded by landscaping.

The interiors are quite lovely too, especially the double-wide units.

There are of course the traditional problems of shipping container design; they are narrower than a standard hotel room. You have to climb in from the bottom of the bed because there is no room around it, and it will be murder for the staff to make it every day. But if you are going to be stuck to the limitations of real live shipping containers, there isn't much you can do about that.

That's the problem I have with this project, because they are not real shipping containers, they are fakes, knockoffs. Look at the door: It has container door hardware on it, but no hinges. It has a piece of crappy conduit stuck over it going to a cheap light on top, not exactly a five-star wiring job.

Closeup of corner© Tonghe Shanzhi Landscape Design

It's terrific when shipping containers are recycled and reused. It is even more interesting when designers take advantage of which is what shipping containers actually are, which is not just a box, but part of a global transportation system with a vast infrastructure of ships, trains, trucks and cranes that has driven the cost of shipping down to a fraction of what it used to be. (see Does Shipping Container Architecture Make Sense?

But making knockoff shipping containers? That makes no sense at all.

Shipping Container Architecture Is So Trendy That In China, They Are Making Knock-offs
A "Five Star" Hotel complex is Really a Potemkin Village.

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