The United Arab Emirates is home to the world’s tallest building, Burj; it’s over-run by McMansions a la Arabia, and the Emirates don’t hesitate to create artificial islands out of extravagant shapes like planet earth. Now a humbler approach that mimics western trends: a cargo company in the UAE has put together 42 shipping containers for its office.
Laurie, our in house architect isn’t sold on shipping containers as architecture (cargotecture), but the staff at the new building think it is one of the coolest.
The interior of the building, the local newspaper The National reports, is the HQ of the cargo company Geochem, which keeps the offices chilled to near zero. Insulation is thanks to Dubai’s Smartbox which built the facility and took corrugated steel boxes and turned them into offices and rooms.
“From the outside, you would never know it was made out of shipping containers,” said Arjun Menon, managing director of Smartbox. From the inside, you can do anything you would like. If I had the budget, I could make one of our rooms look like the Burj Al Arab.”
Approvals for these sorts of buildings have been a challenge, Menon said.
Meanwhile a second building like this is planned for the Dubai Design District. This one will contain wind towers (using inverted containers) and will mimic traditional Arab design – something we are aching to see.