Containers have long held an attraction for designers as the ultimate off-the-shelf industrialised, transport ready, stackable house component. They are particularly attractive in short term developments because they can be picked up and moved elsewhere when the term comes to an end. All they need are proper doors and windows, fitting out with plumbing and electrics and, hey presto, low-cost hi-tech cool homes for all.

Container City is the brainchild of Eric Reynolds, Managing Director of Urban Space Management who was looking for a way to address the problem of providing space at a construction cost low enough to ensure affordable rents for artists and creative startup businesses.

Constructed from redundant shipping containers the first phase, completed in 2001 was originally three stories high and provided 12 work studios. In 2003 a further floor was added providing 3 additional live/work apartments.

The containers were pre-fabricated off-site and upgraded as necessary to provide the desired thermal and acoustic performance standards and to meet local building regulations.

Developer: Urban Space Management

Architect: Nicholas Lacey and Partners

Principal Supplier: Container Space Ltd