Over at Designboom, they're featuring a new bridge design made from shipping containers by Israel's Yoav Messer Architects. The firm says that "repurposing the containers is fast and easy work that can be done off-site and later assembled, minimizing invasive construction. A new steel truss will be integrated with the metal boxes as the primary structure of the bridge." But is it smart design?
There is no question that using the shipping containers enables the architects "to frame specific views." The containers have "incorporated display panels [that] will keep visitors up to date with site-specific information and presentations on new projects."
But can you call cutting out walls, engineering the boxes into trusses, and welding four 40-footers into a span "fast and easy" compared to building a box truss from scratch that is actually the length of the span between supports? Does the use of a shipping container's "modular characteristic [make] it ideal for replacing or repairing parts" when they are the actual structure of a bridge? How do you replace a section of a truss?
Honestly, I have become a container curmudgeon. Still, you can check out lots more lovely images at Designboom.