Container Atlas – Gestalten

The Plan Magazine 124 Cover
  • Date : January 2020 | Container Atlas
  • Featured Project : Etania Green School

Container Atlas, A Practical Guide to Container Architecture – Etania Green School, – Gestalten

by Gestalten & Professor Han Slawik


The second edition of the Container Atlas is a reinvigoration of an architectural classic. Additional projects provide insight into the ever-developing world of container architecture. The book presents a wide range of projects in container architecture. A contemporary architectural phenomenon. It features various ways in which containers are used in temporary architecture, such as pop-up stores and temporary exhibits. However it also features projects such as sophisticated housing and office spaces that provoke and inspire. But the book is not only visually inspiring.

Because it documents plans, describes associated costs, and suggests concrete solutions for common problems, it is a practical reference for a variety of readers. It guides architects, planners, and cultural activists as well as event and marketing managers in deciding what types of containers are best suited to their upcoming projects. The book features the Etania Green School, a school project in Malaysia that uses containers in an innovative way.


excerpt from the book:


Etania Green School by billionBricks icw Architecture BRIO

The Etania Green School is a primary school for stateless children, whose parents came to Malaysia as undocumented labourers to work on palm oil plantations. The design team, the non-profit billionBricks icw Architecture BRIO, hopes this building prototype will be the first of up to 30 more schools of its kind.

With space for 350 students aged five-13, Etania Green School is located beside a river that floods once a decade. This is likely to increase with the deforestation caused by palm oil plantations in the region. So whatever solution billionBricks proposed, it had to offer the children a safe place to access education and it needed to withstand floods. The vernacular architecture in this region is often raised above the ground. However the studio proposed placing the main timber structure atop five repurposed containers to shield it from high water. This allowed them to create a more stable foundation using fewer components.

The architects arranged four classrooms, a teachers’ lounge, and library in blocks across the upper floor on either side of a central veranda. Between two classrooms there are two smaller areas for group work. One of them is a cozy reading room with a netted floor where the children can enjoy library books. These areas give the teachers additional space to hold lessons, as multiple years are often grouped into a single class. The building is also designed as a place of exploration. Students can access the classrooms in several ways: climbing a dirt mound, ladders or staircases. The ascent is an articulation of the school’s ethos of overcoming obstacles.