The Millennial Project 2.0

SeaBox Village would be an exercise in high-tech ‘adaptive reuse’ that would be specifically intended to be duplicated in an on-water form at a later time, the community serving as a proving-ground for the necessary construction methods. SeaBox Village would be based entirely on the use of recycled ISO marine containers to create a conjoined community complex up to several stories high. The architectural potential of shipping containers has become an obsession for many architects and tinkerers around the world. Long used as makeshift shelter for the poor in much of the world owing to their ubiquity and low cost, in the hands of clever designers containers have also been used to create some of the most elaborate luxury homes –albeit with a distinctly industrial aesthetic. Between these extremes, many companies now specialize in the mass conversion of containers for common commercial and industrial building purposes.

Shipping containers offer a very easy medium for the creation of very comfortable, durable, and economical homes –as long as you aren’t in the US or don’t have to hire other metal-working firms to aid you in this adaptation. This, of course, would be a key factor in the planning of SeaBox Village. It would be intended to cultivate the on-location industrial capability to perform container modifications both for its own development and as a for-profit community industry and so its founding residents would be people with the metal-working skills to experiment freely with these containers and their related hardware.

SeaBox Village would seek to employ containers in as great a diversity of applications as possible. Houses, community centers, deck systems, playgrounds, swimming pools, greenhouses, fish farms, living machine systems, generators, solar energy systems, even experimental vehicles, all of them based in some way on containers, materials sourced from containers, or similar cast-offs or repurposed industrial components. And this repurposing would be pursued with the intent to avoid any sort of makeshift appearance. Such diverse and creative reuse of industrial components and waste represents an essential principle in Post-Industrial culture. Reuse is the most efficient method of recycling and ideally any manufactured artifact should pass through as many lifetimes in different purposes as possible before finally be reduced to a raw material.

The configuration of the SeaBox Village would seek to realize a roughly unified structure where stripped-bare container frames fill interstitial spaces and serve as the basis of decks, walkways, and pergolas. Individual homes would be clustered in complexes up to several storeys around shared community gardens while being individually organized around private atriums or employing roof-top garden decks. Its basic design would offer one of the most direct analogies to what would be used in its marine based counterpart among any of these eco-village concepts, being essentially identical in most every way to its marine version save for a flotation platform made from containers.

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