From Peter Case, November 3rd: The whole thing was erected in one week. The 35 containers were in Cranston in a yard where we made the modifications and installed the windows. They were then trucked to the site. In addition to the containers being stacked, we also installed columns (not shown) on the interiors to handle the structural loads once the interior sides are cut out. (The walls that are removed are being welded to the roofs of the exposed containers for structural reinforcement.) The rendering shows “a double wide” unit with the reinforcing columns and interior walls cut back to form a “beam” in the center of the unit. Next come stairs and platforms so we don’t need scaffolding to access the interiors during construction. Then comes the seams between containers so that we can spray in the insulation and make the building water and weather tight. We anticipate an April/May 2010 completion date.
The Box Office consists of 12 office/studio spaces constructed from 32 recycled shipping containers on an abandoned strip of Providence history – the former Harris Lumber site. The building will be the first of its kind in Rhode Island, and an example of this type of building recently made headlines in Boston: the Puma City. Another example is Container City in London, completed in 2001.
On the morning of May 25, the official "groundbreaking" was held during which a single tree was planted and a number of old shipping containers had been stacked up on the property to give a sense of what the building might look like from the street. “Buildings like this one bring new life to these iconic objects,” developer Peter Case said. “My kids ask: are those Legos? The Lego interpretation is apt. We’ve all seen these modular shapes on trucks, trains, and ships, and stacked up at urban ports as though they were already buildings. Why not reuse them?”
Indeed. As the economy sputters, containers are piling up in ports, and there is a movement to give them a second life as apartments and offices. And Case thinks that he can do it green too. Box Office hopes to use 25 percent less energy than a conventional new office building. It will have no direct use of fossil fuels, with all heating and cooling coming from small, decentralized air-to-air heat pumps. Storm water run-off will be primarily treated by using “bio-swales” or rain gardens, where storm water will be collected to feed plant life.
Leasing information and construction updates are availble on the Box Office website.
Carl Friend Dec 28 2013 Whilst I have had nothing directly to do with "the Box Office", I get to admire it every time I pass by on my way to my computer-history concern over at Atlantic Mills (another featured site hereon). I think that this is a fabulous re-use of otherwise scrap material that would merely be chopped up and transported back across the Pacific to China for recycling. In its own way, it’s also quite aesthetically pleasing, too! It’s sad that what was once there is no more, but I am hoping that Providence is learning that re-use of existing structures is usually more friendly, both environmentally and socially, than constructing new. I still mourn the loss of Eagle Square.
James Mar 5 2013 What a waste this construction is. This cost $1.8 million to build ( www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130027101 )?! With so much ArtinRuins in RI, that money would have better spent repurposing an existing structure.
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