Shipping containers found multi-purpose as they began to be turned into livable spaces themselves. Shipping companies had the remarkable idea to convert the boxes that ship your life from one place to another when you decide to say farewell, into the very structures you could put as a roof on your head. Nevertheless, these are oblong structures that provide a limited design opportunity. The containers are being converted to homes, offices, even relief camps, but the taste is for just one strict, shapely palette.
Excalibur Shelters decided to take the container rage a little further, and came up with the idea of unfolding a standard sized shipping container into very large shelters and pavilions and named it the X-Tainer. The X-Tainer looks like normal containers from outside, but inside them they hold solid walls that can retract and fitted to form large enclosures.
The X-Tainer is made up of a series of folding panels inside it that unfold to make walls. It is installed on site and the panels are folded out to form the pavilion’s walls in various configurations – from simple rectangular rooms to hexagons, pentagons or an obtuse shape for those who prefer out of the ordinary. The roof is a bespoke membrane structure for the configuration of the user’s liking. The walls allow you to fit the structure with electrical outlets, basic plumbing, monitors and television screens, speakers, and other gear.
Excalibur has two size options to work with. The 20 ft long model can encompass up to 48 sq m of solid wall along with a fold-down floor, whereas the 40 ft long container has up to 224 sq m of wall fitted in, without any flooring. These two can be hooked together to form a 900 sq m of open space for a crowd of around 600 people, but work the same on their own.
The makers believe X-Tainer will see a variety of uses. It can be used as a marquee for events, an emergency shelter and even military bases, greenhouses, mobile solar power plants, other agricultural space, water purification, and animal paddocks. The ideas are infinite with the caliber of Excalibur X-Tainer.