It's official; the headline of the Alameda Journal is "Container look" project proposed. Designed by Timbre architecture, it actually is built out of shipping containers, but all the city planners and politicians seem to want to talk about is the look.
"Every single person who comes across the Park Street Bridge, coming home every night, is going to see it immediately," City Planner Andrew Thomas said in September, when the Planning Board initially considered the project. "And we are pretty sure everyone is going to have an opinion about it." Thomas, who backs the project, admitted some people may not like it. "There will be certainly some folks out there," he said, "who will go, 'Oh, my God, what was the city staff thinking? What? The Planning Board approved that?'"
Another planning board member is fond of the style.
"I like the container look," Henneberry said. "I think it's been used successfully around the world. We have a lot of extra containers out there so we should put them to good use."
Credit where credit is due on the title:
This is of course why shipping container projects are insulated on the inside, where it takes up space and causes massive thermal bridges, instead of just wrapping them all with a blanket of insulation and cladding on the outside; everyone really likes the rough and ready container look. This is also why they are inserted on an angle and cantilevered out, even though they have to do major structural gymnastics holding up boxes that were designed to be sitting on their corner castings. Because container is the new black.
This has been the case for a while; In China they actually built a hotel out of fake shipping containers. You can tell because there is door latching hardware but no hinges, because there are no doors. At least in Alameda they are using real boxes, I suppose that's something.