Last summer we showed Montreal's Muvbox; Harry of Mocoloco described the lovely lobster rolls they sold out of it. It would sit there all night looking like a standard shipping container, and then in two minutes in the morning, deploy into a restaurant. There are two ways to look at shipping container architecture; they can be cheap boxes permanently installed and simply enclosing space, or they can be part of a much larger global transportation and handling system, filled with stuff rather than air. Muvbox was the latter.
Now it has come to New York City as the Snackbox. According to V2Com:
It is the modern-day reinvention of the old-fashion canteen and serves iconic NY street food with gourmet flair. The SnackBox had to stand out in this visually saturated environment. The elaboration and development of its visual identity and brand were born from this idea and succeeds to convey that “NY personality” to the pop-up restaurant.
Located on a section of Broadway that is now closed off to vehicular traffic, the SnackBox is easily movable and entirely self-sufficient. It works off the grid with its fresh and grey water supply tanks that are embedded in the floor while power comes from a hybrid energy system combining electric batteries and generator.
During colder days, heating for the staff is provided by recovering the heat from the generator.
At night, the SnackBox vanishes back into its cube, ready to redeploy in minutes, bright and early the next morning.
This is shipping container architecture at its best: It is meant to move, part of a transportation technology, not just a dumb empty box. It is full of stuff, not air. Stuff that folds out and expands when needed, folds away safely and securely when not. I just love it.