Container Architecture is not something that is commonplace here in Nigeria, aside from material storage and site offices on construction sites. However, in recent years its been catching on globally with so many projects, concepts and ideas stacking and cascading this steel ‘lego’ blocks atop one another to create fascinating forms and spaces. 

The Vissershok Container Classroom for the Vissershok Primary school in Durbanville, South Africa is a good example of something simple yet dynamic coming forth from Container Architecture. Sponsored by 3 South African Companies- Safmarine, Afrisam and Woolworths, Tsai Design Studio were able to upcycle a 12m (or 40foot) container into a standalone classroom for 5 and 6 year olds in the rural school. 

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This was a big plus for the school, seeing as most of its pupils came from underprivileged communities around the area. The award winning structure was built within a tight budget based on four spatial factors:

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A space for Learning
Serving as a classroom in the morning and a school library in the afternoon, the container provides a well planned tranquil environment for the pupils, supremely conducive to learning. The large roof keeps out direct sunlight and reduces heat while the colourful windows staggered along the sides of the container ensures cross ventilation.

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A space for Play
Steel frames extend outward from the container to a cute play area with swings, climbing ropes and a slide amongst other fun filled items for the children to run, jump and do what children do.

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A space for Gathering
The arena-style stepped seating provides a good space for the children to mingle and socialise while having lunch and also offers a good place for school  assemblies.

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A space for growing
Adjacent to the container is a fairly large area that has been set aside as a vegetable garden. Here children can learn to grow their own food also providing the school with fresh produce to further supplement their feeding program. 

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Images courtesy Tsai Design Studio
With all said and done, the container classroom offers these rural children a chance at a good education within a safe and conducive environment. Kudos to Tsai Design and thier sponsors.

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