Shipping Container as Bicycle Base
The theme of the architectural building is a self-sufficient Bike Base as a sustainable building consisting of three shipping container modular units.
The humble container is one of the world’s most recongized and standardised objects. It is a unit in global exchange. It is higly re-useable, transportable, self sufficient and low-cost.
The design for the bicycle hub attemtps to create a relationship with the surrounding conditions and serves as a threshold between the context and the experience of bike riding. On another level, the design attempts to capture and express the spatial quality of riding a bicycle in an urban setting. The ability to move freely from generous roads to narrow laneways and the continuous transition between well-lit openings to dim intimate space is translated in the design.
Early in the design process, the decision to have all containers on the same level has been made in order to allow for maximum floor area and easy access for cyclists. This maximises the amount of internal space and available roof surface area to collect rain water and solar energy.
A simple design strategy of shifting the containers in parallel to each other creates a dialogue with existing vegetation and gives protagonist to close-by trees. Without removing any existing trees, the building adapts to the existing site conditions. Simultaneously, this shifting strategy creates various sizes of rooms without the need for internal partitioning.
On approach, one ascends from the side of the embankment and arrives at a small deck. A generous café area occupies the centre of the internal space and connects the other spaces within the building. Adjacent to this is a large deck that opens and frames the lush greenery in the distance. Thus, one must pass through a space that is small before entering a larger space. By first restraining and focusing one’s sight and sense of space, the sudden release into the light and open environment enhances the spatial experience.
To allow one to slowly discover and experience the progression of framed views, circulation paths are carefully and strategically placed to increase the relationship between points of interests and the viewer’s path. As one moves through the building, rooms unfold in a sequence as if they were
a continuous space. The open-ended circulation path allows one to freely move around the building.
The design becomes a direct responses to its immediate surrouding.
The arrangement of overlapping containers allows diverse activities to take place simultaneously without comprising its original function. Futhermore, the overlapping planes and volume enhance the building’s perception of depth – even though the total area may be relatively small.
Using hollow steel beams to visually join the three containers to create an interesting building form that avoids the suggestion of a front or back side to the building, encouraging activities all around the building perimeter.
Overall, the building aims to not treat architecture as an object or icon, but rather as an urban catalyst, promoting public use and facilities for communities in the city where people meet and gather in an environment with a strong identity of bicycle culture.
Manus Leung & Kacper Krywult
Category: Urban Planning and Urban Design