The project in Denmark is a good object lesson.
Designboom shows a new water sports center in Halsskov, Denmark, that is built out of old shipping containers. This is one of those uses that makes absolute sense; shipping containers can be locked up tight for security and are really good in the salt air. This is really what they were designed for.
It is a little project by a very big firm. Sweco is "Europe’s leading architecture and engineering consultancy" working in 70 countries with 14,500 employees, and here they are, playing with blocks. "Sweco Architects is the architect and landscape architect for the first stage of the new Water Sports Center in Halsskov. The project is an architectural intervention that will ensure accessibility to the water and water sports activities at the old ferry port."
The containers used for the change rooms probably needed a bit of architectural detail so that they didn't look just like a bunch of containers dropped on the shore, so the architects clad the boxes in "heat treated wood from sustainable forestry that ensures minimal maintenance."
But it is the diving platform that is the most interesting object lesson.
The diving tower is the area's visible marker. The tower is designed for a jump from 4, 8 and 11 meters and has a distinctive yellow signal color that can be seen from the Great Belt Bridge. The tower is made of three stacked containers, that turn gradually to generate an interesting interaction between activity, shadows and volumes.
Shipping containers are designed to sit on the corner castings, corner post on corner post. The rest of the shipping container is not structural. So the architects have slipped a steel frame under each shipping container to transfer the load. Because otherwise, you would just have three shipping containers in a pile, something you might see on any pier. They need all that steel to give it a twist.
Was it worth it? In this case, probably yes. More photos on Designboom.