This Competition Takes Repurposed Shipping Containers To A Whole New Level

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Recently, SuperSkyScrapers held an interesting architectural competition in Mumbai, India: how do you tackle housing shortages in densely populated regions around the world? The competition was focused on one type of repurposed resource: shipping containers.

The competition brought together architectural firms from around the world to design container-scapers, which, according to CRG Architecural Consultants (which placed third in the contest), would “investigate the possibility of a temporary adequate housing solution for dwellers of the densely populated Dharavi Slum in Mumbai, India.”


There’s some really designs here. CRG has attracted a considerable amount of attention with their own design, a pair of towers, 400 meters and 200 meters respectively, that would provide housing for upwards of 5000 people. The winner of the competition was Shekar Ganti, of Ganti & Associates, who designed a container skyscraper, which would be stacked 10 units high, and requiring little additional support.


The jury awarded them the top prize, noting that the project would be easy to implement:

This project presented an overall understanding of the site context, the community, culture and need for improved living standards. The panel liked the clean configuration of a development that could be repeated and adapted to create a district preventing the re-creation of another slum.

It is a proposal that rightly addressed the issues of sustainability, circulation, energy use, ventilation and lighting by the cleaver adjustment of the containers to allow light through to the other modules. A straight forward convincing solution in terms of form, configuration, distribution and function.


The second place winner was Jin Young Song, an assistant professor at University at Buffalo, who proposed a triangular building that allowed for a considerable amount of expansion as needed.

None of these structures are likely to actually be constructed: they are purely conceptual. Despite that, this competition seems to be driven towards pushing architects to innovate and play with new materials and ways of approaching major problems. As CRG noted on their website, by 2030, 6/10ths of the Earth’s population will exist in urban areas, which makes discovering housing solutions an important part of urban planning.


Repurposing shipping containers is nothing new, but applying them to city environments is a novel idea: their uniform size and shape makes them ideal to stack and put together (with additional support as needed), and a type of modular structure might prove to be a good way to build in the future. View the full list of entries here.

Image credits: CRG, Ganti & Associates