Between Metropolis and The Land


(Container Village, New Jersey. 2014. Image by Greg Gordon Canaras)

On the outskirts of New York, On the Jersey Side, reside stacks of colorful boxes. Shipping containers, at first glance appear as buildings along the din roll of the highway. Spontaneous Architecture brought about by the passing of commerce. These structures for transport invite ones curiosity about the use of “The Modular” unit in the fabric of The City.

This subject, highlighted in our prior post “Modular New York” explored the concept and its potential as a building type in our Urban Landscape. As an architecture which is flexible and temporary, the idea of the container which serves as an environment for human habitation has been readily explored; most notably by the UK based company Urban Space Management and the construction of Container City’s 1 & 2 on the outskirts of London.


Container City II, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London. Photo by Urban Space Management

Between Metropolis and The Land lie spaces of semi-permanence; Landscapes rarely viewed as places of Spontaneous Architecture. And as the dense core of Our City eventually pushes outward, into these spaces of the in-between Docklands, perhaps the use of this modular unit may become accepted as a common sight. This fleeting landscape viewed from the car, colorful like a village, may someday transform into a place that is Occupied.

Links of Relatable Note:

Urban Space Management, The Creators of Container City 1 & 2

Between Metropolis and The Ocean, a prior musing, from Gordon’s Urban Morphology


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