A shipping container is used to transport large amounts of goods on ships and trains. By itself, it looks pretty boring, but with a little imagination the container can be turned into strong and safe spaces with multiple functionalities.

We wanted to create a central space that will allow all the on-site volunteers to come together and spend some leisure time.

This shipping container transformed into the common space, will not just be a lounge area but also will house centralized functions like laundry, ironing and community kitchen for all. The place could also be used by the volunteers after working hours for meetings, and research and design work.

The shipping container was brought at the site in February 2014. The container has a large door in the front, which acts as an extended floor when opened up. To make the interiors more natural, the inner walls have been shot-creted (a process where sand, cement, fine aggregate and water are blown onto the wall under high pressure) and plastered.

The floor has been made with pine wood strips from waste shipping crates, which are cheap and available in abundance.

The portico in front of the container is covered with a sloping roof of sheets made from compressed tetra packs. The container and the roof also support the solar panels that produce all the electricity currently used on the site and the dormitory area.

The red sandstone floor of the portico is an expression of the volunteers’ creativity with organic forms laid out in colourful ceramic tiles in cement mortar.
We imagine the common house to bring together not just the volunteers on site but also people interested in our work, travellers and passers-by (over a cup of organic tea perhaps) in midst of this beautiful place we call home!

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