The project represents an experiment in low cost, context-appropriate, family housing with the use of ISO shipping containers (seven in phase one – 90 m2 completed 2017, four in phase two – 40 m2 for 2018) facilitating growth over time.
The intention is to efficiently use containers in as close as possible to their original state; expressing rather than concealing their robust aesthetic, in order to engage explicitly with the eclectic maritime character of Ringsend, a neighbourhood in the heart of Dublin’s container docklands.
This honest, industrial, material language extends to the use of galvanizing – taking its cue from the existing galvanized container door hardware – for all external steel structural elements and detailing. The shiny zinc finish contrasts well with the earthy oxide-red matte finish of the containers.
Galvanizing allowed a tough, uniform, high-quality finish to be applied in a single off-site process to both structural steel and custom-made large-scale assemblies (vehicle and pedestrian gates, window surrounds and balustrades). Components were welded and bolted together from standard steel components, facilitating a consistency of expression across these and other off-the-shelf galvanized elements (e.g. sliding gate hardware and service infrastructure).
In this way, galvanizing – in addition to its durability and cost-effectiveness – plays a primary, integral role in a context-appropriate architectural strategy to present both a harmonious whole and an honest assembly of discrete elements.