Container City

Project Tittle : Container City (2010)
Site : Jalan Pantai Permai 2, Pantai Dalam, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Program : Multiple Residential Housing, Library, Parking podium, Elevated park
Project Architect : Qhawarizmi Norhisham

During the conception of Container City, I would never have thought of designing housing scheme out of containers. The intention of the project has somehow been manifested into these colourful containers but its not necessarily restricted to it. Some people would just stop looking into the project at the aerial view below and say, ‘ahh… another container project..’ or ‘wow..its very colourful’. But the project starts a liltle bit more serious than the ludacris palette of colour shown in the pictures below.

Container City aerial view

I began by questioning the ownership of space. Since the beginning of time, space is a commodity that has been taken into the ownership of men from God? Maybe? At least men think that they own the land. So the question would very much sound like this;  How can men determine the rightful amount of space for one person?

On Left, Schedule of unit typology possibility. On right, 3 mainframe units that can be evolved. Bottom, Unit arrangement with the corridor and integrated service cores.

Affordability must be compared relatively. As one person economic capacity is different with another individual. The typology chart that I have created moprhs with the concept that has been adapted from the car building industry. In car building industry, a company will design a car chassis that can later be fitted into a car that suits its economical, and luxury class consumer. So I have created 3 basic typologies that have the potentials creating 36 apartment typologies.

Interior view of kitchen, dining and living room.

The typology only influences spatial organisation that suits the owner’s lifestyle. But what influences the price of the units are the finishing materials used for the unit. A mechanism to ensure all range of potential buyers to purchase their house according to their affordability. The scheme can satisfy all range of affordability with interchangeable options before signing legal papers to buy the house. To invent an instrument that enables an individual to calibrate affordability into architectural decisions, I looked into the computer industry. Computer industry has become a success due to its relative affordability. (If you don’t believe me, try buying a PC in Low Yat. The first thing they will ask is “Boi,berapa budget boi?“) No matter what your budget is, you will be able to afford a computer. This is because a wide range of interchangeable components that can be opted for cheaper options (but high specifications aren’t neglected). Consumer power grew just for the fact that they can decide what they buy. It is different in real estate purchases as all housing units are determined by the architect or developer specifications. The buyer is forced to accept and renovate the house later on according to their preference. A wastage of fresh material used to built the original house. Sad.

Purchase Mechanism flow diagram

Have you ever visited the Dell website?  You can order your computer online and have all components of the machine tailored to your need. The same principle is taken into the project in order to give the units a ‘product like’ nature. The flow chart above demonstrate how the client can access the project by going online. The interface will illustrate in real time the interchangeable components that can be swapped with other materials or options. On the left side of the page will be a table, calculating the cost of the unit as changes are being made. These information will be recorded in secure domain. The consumer will have to sign up an account in order to shop for the house on the developer website. Once the options have been finalized, the information will be stored in a server that notifies and appoints a lawyer and the commissioned architect. Both will resolve legal and architectural related matters before handing ‘the order’ to the builder. As a result from the participation of the consumer in an architectural feature, a high level of individualism can be achieved by even using the same template as a starting ground (just like the car industry).

South Elevation

I’m sure by now you can guess why the facade is colourful, just like illustrated in the elevation above. This is due to personalization, a mix of individualistic units create an architecture as a whole. I as the designer let the people to influence architecture in a certain controlled perimeter to create sense of attachment to the built form trough direct participation. The project also includes a library, parking podium, public park and a kindergarten. The project is a prototype house where the idea exceeds its built form. A similar device of personalization can be adapted not necessarily on the basis of a container.

Container City satellite building that houses a library, kindergarten and management offices.

Project Construction Video

First Prize Winner IBS Video Animation Competition 2010-2011 [National]
IBS Integration for Green Technology
in conjunction with MIIE’11
5-7th April 2011

First Prize Winner Green Affordable Residential Challenge [National]
Urban Social Housing 2010
3rd Dec 2010

Honoury Mention IGEM: Dare to Dream Challenge 2010 [National]
‘A Green New Deal’
14th Oct 2010

PAM Annual Student Exibition One Utama 2011
One Utama Shopping Center
3 Oct 2011 -9 Oct 2011

Green ARC Exhibition Winners
Alliance Française Kuala Lumpur
7 Sept 2011 – 24 Sept 2011

Square 1 : Internal & External Review 2011
Selected Display of  Student Work
Dewan Sri Budiman, UiTM Shah Alam
19 May 2011 – 22 May 2011

Selangor Property Expo Exhibition (SELPLEX) 2010
Shah Alam Convention Center
29 October 2010 – 31 October 2010

PAM Annual Student Exibition 2010
One Utama Shopping Center
18 Oct 2010 – 24 Oct 2010

Dare to Dream Challenge Booklet (2010)
IGEM 2010: A Green New Deal
page 20-21

Pecha Kucha 2012
Design Biennale: Akar
at Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam
5 April 2012