Whether or not one believes that shipping container architecture makes any sense, particularly when architects cut them up so that there is almost nothing left of them, they certainly can build dramatic structures. Playz Architects have built this office building and hotel lobby for Tony's Farm, a big organic food producer. It is used to welcome visitors to the farm outside Shanghai. The mandate of the farm is to promote "healthy food, responsible lifestyle, and environmental harmony," and like so much in China, the scale is huge. It is also a tourist attraction:
To help more people enjoy the unique feeling of “the countryside," we are now focusing on our visitor programme and facilities. We have invited the German Expo Pavilion design team to design an environmental concept "container" hotel, transforming shipping containers into a unique farm hotel, which is environmentally-friendly and very comfortable to stay in.
The architects write:
Playz integrated traditional Chinese typologies, such as the sun protected outdoor spaces, the sequencial transition between outdoor and indoor. This traditional strategy roots in deep understanding of the climatic requirements of buildings.
The architects note that "container architecture has become popular, especially because of the iconographic and direct reuse of material." It's hard to make a case that this makes much environmental sense, there is almost nothing left of the original boxes. They are hardly being recycled, it's more like they are being deconstructed. But they certainly are iconographic.
I do love how the doors have been perforated, there is no part of the shipping container that hasn't been transformed in some way. It many not make much sense, but it is very pretty and iconic. More photos at Architizer