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Dashing Shipping Container Research Center Rises in 9 Months

Once an expanse of demolition rubble on the campus of Ege University in Izmir, Turkey, the field has now transformed into a dashing new research complex built from 35 shipping containers salvaged from a port seven miles away. Masterminded by Istanbul-based design firm Atölye Labs, the project creates 10,760 square feet of interior space, intended to house research and development units of large Turkish and international companies, as well as terraces, a gallery, cafe, and restaurant.

What's particularly impressive about this shipping container project, compared to some other smaller scale examples, is the effort that went into the landscaping—all 8,600 square feet of it—so that the containers feel fully adapted to its new site and purpose. Trees, lawns, benches, and paved pathways cover the courtyard, in anticipation of what the project brief calls "spontaneous encounters and play." The containers themselves were positioned to optimize passive solar heating and natural ventilation, and feature solar coated windows, thick insulation, efficient LED lighting systems, as well as natural materials like cork.

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