Architecture That Recycles Shipping Containers Into Living Spaces


KAJANG, 22 April – Recycling is not just about saving the earth. To some 80 architecture students of Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur (IUKL), it means turning two 20-feet unwanted shipping containers into modern living spaces for children.

In collaboration with the Woman’s Aid Organisation (WAO), the two refurbished shipping containers will be integrated into the existing WAO Refuge Centre, and be used as classrooms for daily activities and therapy for child survivors of domestic violence under their care.

Aimed at creating greater awareness about recycling, the winning design for the two refurbished shipping containers will be announced on 22 April in conjunction with the Earth Day.

“The final design was chosen from the works of our second-year students who are currently pursuing the Bachelor of Science (Architectural Studies). We want them to experience and witness for themselves how their designs could actually make this world a better place,” said Prof. Dr Zulkifli Hanafi, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment, IUKL.

The idea came about last year when Susan Lankester, a volunteer for WAO approached IUKL regarding the space needed. Susan herself has her own construction & ID Company, Lankester Designs.

“About a year ago, WAO mentioned to me that they needed space for the children’s therapy and play classes. Hence the idea of utilising a container was born and the search began. This is testament that there are people out there who want to help but do not have the necessary connections, channels, and methods to lend a hand,” she said.

The Vice-President of WAO, Tashia Peterson said that she is excited about this very meaningful project.

“In working to make Malaysia a safer place for women and children, we recognize our responsibility to use resources sustainably. The idea of repurposing the containers into a safe and empowering space for the education and healing of child survivors of domestic violence is a wonderful example of using creativity towards positive change. We hope this project encourages further creative repurposing of resources that would otherwise be wasted so as to maximise the use and impact of these resources.” Tashia added.

With all in place, an architectural firm, Architectural Design and Management (ADAM) will be implementing the construction and placement of the container.

“We are proud to be involved in this project from the get-go. It is certainly inspiring to see the bright young things of IUKL display their ingenuity and creativity with their presented designs. After sourcing the containers we will do our best to realise the winning design with a commitment to the sustainable approach,” said Aiman Zahry, the design principal of ADAM.

“Hopefully this project, once fully realised, can act as a precedent and catalyst for more sustainably designed and socially conscious forms of architecture,” he added.

IUKL and WAO with the support from ADAM and Lankester Design, are committed to work together to make this project a success.


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