Check out building made of shipping crates that's proposed for North Loop

ShippingContainers1.jpg
We'll say this much -- it's not boring!
A commercial building made out of shipping crates is proposed for the North Loop and will be considered by the Minneapolis Planning Commission Committee of the Whole on March 27.

SEE ALSO: The Uptown bro-plexes

The project, located at the intersection of Fourth Street and Fifth Avenue North, is the work of a Minneapolis marketing firm named Akquracy. Building design comes courtesy of New York-based architectural firm Lot-ek.

We spoke yesterday with Akquracy owner Scott Petinga, but he didn't want to comment on the proposal, saying "a lot of stuff is still up in the air," including funding and a feasibility study.

But in materials provided to the city, Lot-ek writes that Akquracy "was keenly interested [in] shipping containers up-cycling practice for the new building, citing design and sustainability as primary drivers." (The crates are also relatively cheap.)

"The design concept employs sixty 40 [foot] shipping containers -- some of which are cut at 30 or 60 degrees -- that are combined to form a 100 [foot by] 100 [foot] rhomboidal donut," the memo says, adding that the containers would be stacked three levels high.

The upper floors of the building would feature "open office space for a digital marketing agency, along with a smaller suite of co-shared business incubator spaces."

The ground floor would sport a cafe/restaurant and a clothing store.

If the proposal passes muster with the Committee of the Whole, it could advance to the full Planning Commission and then onward to the City Council.

To see another rendering, click to page two.

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16 comments
sosmpls
sosmpls

Funding is still up in the air? Does that mean the taxpayers will have to support yet another 'private' development? If not, why are so many government agencies involved in OK-ing the plan? 

Ross Levine
Ross Levine

I actually live in the building's that border this project. There was a previous office building design that had been slated (and was to break ground last summer). Not sure what happened to it (as the whole thing quietly disappeared and never broke ground). This new even edgier project (the previous one also had green architectural elements) seems interesting though. Surprising since the bank had owned that plot of land above our parking garage for years now without anyone biting, so two different proposals within a year or two is indeed neat.

BeeGee7
BeeGee7

Nothing 'hip' about it, actually. "Google" shipping container housing/building and you'll see a history of using them. NYC is also considering them as emergency housing (should that need every arise) as they can be transported over roads (no 'wide load' signs). It's an economical prospect in many ways. But using a shipping container poses numerous architectural challenges (aesthetic and structural). I hope that if the city does approve this, the developer looks to local architects to partner with as well as Lo-Tek. We have Alchemy here (home of the weeHouse) that has been approached to design structures using these, and other commercial, prefab elements, before. Please keep city-spend local! 

_Joe_
_Joe_

Their name is a funny spelling of a normal word.  That's hip, and lends credence to what they say. </sarcasm>

Greta von Otto
Greta von Otto

Architecturally speaking: that is one ugly-ass building!

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81

So are they going to use old containers or buy brand new ones? If they use old ones it's a great recycling idea but if they're going to order brand new ones then it's just cheap and tacky. It would be interesting to buy a lot in the suburbs and set an old repainted 53 foot container down and move in and see how long the neighbors would tolerate it LOL.

Marc Allen Headrick
Marc Allen Headrick

To the owners and architects, have they used green shaded glass before, and does the tint impose on a person's building/work experience?

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81

Oh silly me, I didn't realize recycling is now called "up-cycling."  I guess I'm not hip anymore.

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