Another project tonight based on the ubiquitous shipping container, but one that is very, very different from the little prefab modules proposed by CubeDepot. This is also a project that hews more closely to installation art or sculpture, than architecture, though still vital to the built environment, being situated in the very heart of the city of Calgary in a 100-plot community garden and playground that forms the centrepiece of a huge swath of new development. The need was for a shed to hold the tools and dirt and outdoor furniture for this working garden park. The result goes well beyond something picked up at the local hardware store.
The base design is wonderfully simple, a radial dispersement* of three shipping containers that make up the shed portion of the project. The way those containers are enveloped and connected is what makes things begin to sing. Riffing off the corrugated sides of the shipping container, three more sizes of corrugated metal mesh are inset together, creating this nifty conglomeration of transparent 3D planes that shift and change as the angle of your view changes. Made of a rich and textured material called CorTen (which rusts without falling apart), there’s a nice mix of refinement and roughness that draws the eye.
The real excitement comes where the three radial arms formed by the containers meet. Again matching the pattern of the corrugation, a series of hexagonal tubes are interlocked and cut to formed a dome with three arched entryways, creating an overhead trellis that frames the sky above. Placed near the street, the archways form a type of gateway into the site, a playful portico welcoming you to the gardens and playground beyond.
To that end, it is a bit unfortunate that the “roof” of the shed is completely flat, contradicting both the expressiveness of the dome, the latticework, and the mountains on the horizon. It is a small smidge, however, on an otherwise lively and clever design for what might have been a generic afterthought. Nice work.
Also, well done Calgary for creating this community garden and the RiverWalk that connects to it as you develop and densify.
The Crossroads Garden Shed by 5468796 Architecture
* Wait, is this not a word?
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