Shipping containers create staggered spaces within exhibition space

| 19 : 00 – 06 May, 2019 |

shipping containers, white building, wooden screen,office

Built from shipping containers, Yiduan Shanghai Interior Design renovate and extend inner space by staggering them creating void spaces.

Located on an open grasslands on Chongming Island in Shanghai in China, the brief was to expand the narrow interior spaces of the containers. With a simple and minimalist material palette of white and natural wood, this commercial space consists of ground plus two floors.

Stack of shipping containers, Shipping container office

Before renovation

In order to expand space and refurbish internal spaces, the designers staggered and extended the container space outwards. Wooden grilles added to the exteriors weaved the additional spaces with the existing one. A river flowing through the voids created by staggering the containers created a zen effect on the overall space and its elements.

building exterior, building view, shipping container,

Void boxes within overlapping containers

From the Architects –

The project was built from containers, situated at Orenda Chongming Island, Shanghai, China. Its isolated location on an open grassland, as well as the narrow interior spaces, made the project challenging. In order to give the ten ordinary staggered containers unique aesthetics, the designers boldly extended the inner space of the containers outwards, through creating a void box connected to each closed container.

old office, shipping container office, container office

Backyard space before renovation


Wooden grill, wooden facade, white building, office

Visual and aesthetic delight !

The added boxes, framed by grilles, increased usable area, met the functional demands, and formed a contrast of solidness and void with the containers. Natural light can be filtered through grilles, generating a poetic view of light and shadows.

Added boxes !


office interiors, wooden ceiling, office lobby

Natural light trickles through the wooden grilles

Architectural form – Shipping containers

The containers, and the new boxes generated from them, together produce staggered and overlapping architectural form, making the building look modern and futuristic.

aerial photography, office building, aerial view, shipping containers

Aerial view of the office building

The overall architecture features a coordinated palette of white and light natural wood color, which gives it a clean, simplistic and modern visual impression. Besides, matched by the surrounding green grassland, the architecture harmoniously blends with nature. A meandering river passes through the middle part of the building, adding flexibility and vitality to it.

wood, wooden screen, office building, shipping container office

Solid and void geometry


river passing through building, office building, aerial view, aerial photography

River passing through the building

Shipping container floors –

The entire building is composed of three floors, with 1F functioning as reception and display space, 2F providing simple meals, coffee and tea and 3F serving for working, meeting and business activities.

floor plan, office layout, CAD drawing

Floor plan, office layout, shipping container office layout

First, second and third floor layouts


cafeteria, office cafe, eatery, office interiors

Coffee and tea space


Backyard overlooking the grasslands

The circulation conforms to the natural surroundings, offering different view at each step, and Zen elements utilized are well coordinated with the modern and minimalist design style. The indoor and outdoor spaces are integrated as a whole, which breaks the convention and gives the architecture soul.

wooden ceiling, wood ceiling,office ceiling, wood clad columns

Reception, Lounge and display area on ground floor

entrance porch, wooden trellis, wooden porch, entrance foyer

Entrance foyer covered by wooden battens

Project details –


Project Name – Solid and Void-Staggered spaces

Location – Haiyong County, Chongming Island, Shanghai, China

Architect Firm – Yiduan Shanghai Interior Design |

Lead designer – Xu Xujun

Design Team –  Xu Xuwei, Liu Wei, Gong Xuan, Liu Wei

Project type – Pavilion, Exhibition center, Office

Completion – May 2018

Area – Architecture — 1800 sq.m. , Landscape — 2000 sq.m.

Photography Credits – © Zhu Enlong

Material brands – Kohler, NVC, USG Boral

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