Commercial: MacArthur Annex

The project consists of 33 used shipping containers that are configured to respond to programmatic and contextual parameters. The resultant framework allows for individual expression and simultaneously, communal interaction. The modules carry the potential to be reconfigured, or removed and relocated, allowing for future modification and adaptation.
The problem was to determine a programmatic and architectural solution for a given site, which was adjacent to the 580 freeway and mass transit and contained an existing storefront and a small vacant area. The surrounding neighborhood is home to many small scale creative entrepreneurs that need small, customizable spaces. Shipping containers provided an ideal module to meet their needs while allowing for a building block that would readily respond to program and context.
The solution was to create a ‘micro retail and office park’ that would consist of 33 used shipping containers, which operate a ‘responsive pixel’. They are configured to respond to various site influences, such as the adjacent freeway, BART station, topography, sound, light and shadow, air, views, circulation, program, building and zoning codes, and economy. Ultimately the container module allowed the project to be fully integrated into the local, as well as a broader context, while still allowing for potential future evolution through removal or reconfiguration.
The project is connected to various contexts that include existing structures, the network of containers that run through Oakland, and the local community of creative entrepreneurs. The underlying containers created a canvas, and a community has populated the project with their own modifications, according to their own needs. The results are dramatically different from the container to container. The lack of top-down design direction engenders a rich and sometimes messy texture, which creates a vibrant place to live and work. The architecture becomes the backdrop to interactions, conversations, events, and the evolution of creative businesses.

Year Completed: Completed 2017
Project Type: Commercial Office & Retail
Program: 200 SF Shipping Container Units
Square Footage: 4,581

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