15/01/2018 16:12 SAST | Updated 15/01/2018 16:12 SAST

Container Architecture: Winning Awards; Solving Problems

You won't believe all the things these young architects in the Archicad Student Awards can do with a container.

Teboho Bokako's brilliant "container church".
Teboho Bokako
Teboho Bokako's brilliant "container church".

Shipping container-based design is becoming a whole new category of architecture as the "tiny homes" movement gains popularity around the world, and the 2017 Archicad Student Awards proves there is no end to what you can do.

Winner Jacques Steyn, from the University of Free State, designed an urban recycling hub out of shipping containers.

"The design aims to make a space in the city (Hoffman Square) where people can drop off their waste, but also become part of its recycling," Steyn says of the project.

Jacque Steyn

Runner-up Teboho Bokako used not just whole containers, but even recycled panels from old containers to create a "container church" that looks a whole lot more expensive than it is.

Teboho Bokako

Third place was shared by Busisiwe Mgewenya from Tshwane University of Technology for a floating life buoy –– a lookout point in Qatar -- and Gareth van Loggerenberg from Durban University of Technology for his residential container house.

Busisiwe Mgewenya

Gareth van Loggerenberg

in South Africa, where widespread poverty still means that the majority of the population are excluded from the housing market, the containers could be a useful alternative to the standard low-income home. Hopefully we'll see more of them this year.