The Container Office
The container office is a project designed for an aerospace  engineering firm. When the firm approached us for the first time,  we thought it will be for a typical small office space. As we  discussed further, we were quite surprised by the unique approach  of the firm. The firm wanted an office space which represented  their work ideology and principles through its architectural  elements. The initial idea was to create an out of the box space. To  design a space adhering to the philosophy and work ethics of the  firm, we wanted to establish a relation between the space and the  surroundings. Architecture of the structure looks complete only  when it embraces the environment comprehensively. To establish a  relation, is it necessary to use conventional materials? Or can the  dynamic existence of the two different elements can create a unique  experience? We decided to take this challenge and create adoptive,  innovative and fulfilling workspace which will represent the users  and their thought process.
Any workspace is not just four walls and a roof, instead it is a whole united  space created by collaborating context of surroundings, function, philosophy  and principles of the users. Every workspace acts as a contributing factor,  therefore it should be thoroughly planned and well designed.
In today’s busy schedule workspace has become where the person spends  most of his awake time. While we are trying to create a change to reduce the  workload, we are neglecting the most influential element of the employees’  lives, that is their workspace. Even though everyone’s work nature,  requirement of space and scale of space is different, all of these play an active  role in the development of overall work environment.
Architecture is an integration of materials, proportions, form and the  function. Maintaining balance between all four is crucial to satisfy the need of  the structure. It is very important to reimagine the process of planning where  all the elements blend together in harmony without overpowering each  other’s properties.
The container office is a project located in Shirval. The site is located in heavy rainfall area with a major wind flow. This office is designed using  three shipping containers which are placed on a slab foundation for  stability. Form of the structure is a basic rectangle. The shape is used to  create a simplicity. The form allows the structure to merge with the  context without dominating the environment. Height of the structure is  restricted to one storey. Scale of the structure is maintained to make the  structure approachable. Even though the scale and the form of the  structure is kept elementary, use of the unique material makes it  remarkable and memorable. 
Every office has their own identity based on their philosophy of work.  For aerospace engineering firm, the materials are very crucial. To create  identity of the firm we decided to use metal as an initial material. The  use of shipping containers fulfilled the same purpose. Containers usually used for transportation are taken out of their element here and used to construct a comfortable work environment. Containers are  generally used for fast construction, to minimize the cost or to create a temporary space. In this project containers are being used for their texture and  rawness of material. Structure in corrugated sheet metal is symbolic to strength of steel used in aerospace industry. With advancing technology, our  workload and methods are changing, then why can’t we explore our space through different materials to create a change? Exploring different materials  is about understanding their textures, properties and strength. Establishing the synergies among the materials amplifies their individual qualities.  Containers are used with the combination of glass and fabric. Integration of metal, glass, and fabric generates a visionary space. Designing this space  with a combination of materials, proportionate scale and adaptive form, allows the structure to blend with the surrounding while creating its own  statement.​​​​​​​

Every material has its own language. Exposed texture of the  corrugated metal sheet, rawness of steel, smooth flow of the fabric and  transparency of glass make the structure more vulnerable and  inviting. Fragility in the structure has a strength to adopt, create and  inspire a story. It generates a passive influence on the users. It allows  the users to communicate with their space, encouraging them to lead  the interaction with the space instead of being dominated by any  specific element or single focus.
The rectangular form of the structure indicates that it is a formal  workspace and has its own boundaries. The landscaping and overall spatial arrangement suggest that it is open for communication and has  an informal approach, encouraging the users to connect with their  colleagues and clients.
The work space is more expressive than any user. The whole design is based on creating a fulfilling and a pleasant workspace. The large windows in  the containers allow the users to have visual connection with the surrounding. Any workspace is a luxurious space when it has a natural sunlight, a lot  of ventilation and connection with the surrounding nature. It keeps the place positively energetic. Any structure is not exceptional because of its  deconstructive or fluid form. The Structure truly stands out when it is responsive towards user’s all active and passive needs and it becomes a part of  the whole environment. We identified the requirements of all users and created the space which will act as a positive influence in their daily routine.  When person working is close to the nature it helps to reduce their mental stress and it also enables him to think innovative ideas. Creative minds never  work in a closed environment. They need space to think, get motivated and inspired. Small pergola fulfils this role in the structure. It creates a semi  open, informal space for all the employees. Soft touch of green lawn, smooth flawless surface of fabric creating shade and sound of wind creates positive and cosy atmosphere. Even arrangement of the containers creates a small courtyard in between the circulation area. Courtyard helps wind  circulation and the tree foliage over the passages act as a natural canopy. Relation of users and semi open spaces defines how well the structure is  adapting to the environment.
Office spaces are to be designed very carefully because users spend their most productive hours in that environment. As an architect we have  responsibility to understand that structure we design is not just a building but it is an expression of the users. The container office is designed on the  same beliefs. The design process we went through allowed us to express our thoughts and to create a new, adaptive work environment for the client.

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