Cargotecture Is Taking Over Corporate Structure
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The Netherlands is a place of innovation for many reasons, and progress is easy to spot at every corner. Of course, the startup scene is not an exception and Startup Village is proof of that. This Dutch incubator has brought new life to a derelict and underused space at Amsterdam Science Park by using upcycled shipping containers to form a new co-working space for budding entrepreneurs. (Related topics: portable storage containers)
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The Startup Village is the product of the brilliant mind of Dutch architect Julius Taminiau, who previously worked on the design and construction of Pop Brixton, an entrepreneurial hub in south London, also built with shipping containers on underused land.
Although he’s not necessarily the first to put shipping containers to use as co-working modules– these can be quite common in Chile, Colombia, Portugal, and the Netherlands itself– the biggest takeaway from Mr. Taminiau is that creating a vibrant community out of essentially nothing is a formula that can work very well, pretty much anywhere when it is well planned and properly executed.
However, Taminiau’s cargotecture monument has been designed to be temporary only, with his team putting a big emphasis on keeping a small footprint. This means that no concrete piles were used for the foundation and everything can be packed up after 10 years.
At the center of Startup Village, there is a communal outdoor space for events, featuring the shipping containers stacked around it. The containers have been insulated, lockable and properly sealed with low-energy infrared heating to keep things toasty in the winter, whilst the windows open up in the summer for fresh air to flow through.
To keep the containers fresh during the summer, they’re covered in greenery just like their surroundings. The foliage on the roof also acts as a rainwater buffer. These containers come in a couple of variations, with residents of Startup Village able to choose between 20 ft and larger 40 ft containers.
The shipping containers seem to act as a metaphor for a garage in which a lot of big companies had their first office just like Apple and Microsoft did back in the day. Taminiau’s statement continues by saying that placing all these “garages” next to each other creates a dynamic village vibe that can be particularly inspiring for startups and promote cross-sectoral collaborations, exchange of knowledge and unexpected and paradigm-shifting creations.
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