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Lacey creates 'Container City' for artists

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Nicholas Lacey and Partners has come up with this innovative and environmentallyfriendly solution to provide affordable workspace for artists and other creatives - simply reuse old shipping containers to dramatically cut costs.

The Container City scheme, which is being built at Trinity Buoy Wharf in East London for developer Urban Space Management (USM), comprises 15 containers, each 12m long, which have been assembled to create the structure and outside skin. The three levels of containers create 480m 2of space and the first new block provides 12 new studios. The scheme is welded together and the ground floor has full disabled access. The top two levels of workshops will each have a balcony.

Lacey said the units are 'massively below' new build costs and the prototype system is also quick to build, with workspace available within eight weeks. The whole of Container City could be up and ready within three months of the delivery of containers.

2.'Effectively we've built a steel hill and mined away inside it, ' he said. 'We are aiming to create cheap but stylish workspaces in a modular fashion. If the experiment works we will have a repeatable type applicable across all sorts of sites where low cost is important.'

Reynolds does not believe the scheme can be copyrighted, but he expects to build a further 10 blocks at least, including some in London's Bishopsgate Goods Yard.

Engineer is Buro Happold, steel fabricators are Cousins and container supplier is Boxtor.

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