Architecture firm CRG Architects has released renderings for Container Skyscraper, two cylindrical towers constructed out of over 2,500 shipping containers.
The project is meant to eliminate slum housing in urban cores of developing countries, and would be built in one of the largest slums in the world--Dharavi, Mumbai, India.
The shipping container skyscrapers would be a huge departure from the aesthetic commonly associated with slums. Dated, low-to-the-ground structures typically void of color (outside of bland grays, whites, and browns), would be replaced by two rainbow skyscrapers that seem to rise like a phoenix toward the sky.
CRG Architects decided to use a cylinder shape for the base of the towers to maximize the direction of views, an original idea, given the rectangular shape of shipping containers.
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A maximum of nine units can be stacked, so steel shipping containers would be supported by a concrete structure, and edges of the containers would overlap on each floor to create the spiral-like facade around a hollow center. The spiral positioning would also allow windows in the containers to face away from neighbors. The concrete structure would allow the firm to stack more units to achieve the desired height--one tower would measure about 1,300 feet in height, and the other would rise about 650 feet, setting a new challenge of height to beat in Mumbai, and modifying the skyline dramatically.
The interior structure of the skyscrapers can be broken down into layers. Near the hollow center, an elevator shaft would be placed, pipes and utility cables would be weaved inside cavities in the base (designed to allow for shipping containers to be lifted or moved by construction vehicles), and open hallways separating living quarters would provide natural ventilation.
Non-residential containers in the structure would be used to create common areas for residents, like indoor vertical gardens, markets, entertainment rooms, medical services, and schools. Common areas and utility containers are interspersed among residential containers in the structure, following a mathematical pattern programmed by the firm "according to the characteristics of the environment."
The firm estimates that the two towers could house up to 5,000 people, and would resolve some of the environmental, economic, and spatial challenges cities are currently facing as a result of rapid urbanization.