In a small rural province outside of Cape Town, South Africa sits this up-cycled shipping container; fitted and fashioned as part of a humanitarian design competition aimed at providing underprivileged farm children a safe place to learn, study and, of course, play. Woolworths, Safmarine and AfriSam are the three South African companies that sponsored the competition resulting in the Vissershok Container Classroom, which was won by 15 year old student Marshaarn Brink.
Marshaarn’s concept of an outdoor jungle gym space was then handed over to Tsai Design Studio and manifested in the recycled shipping container building. A curvilinear canopy structure is perched on top of the container, providing shaded exterior spaces for kids to recharge their high-velocity motors. The 12 meter (40 foot) container boasts instant shelter and a cool place for kids to focus and learn.
The concept image shows the design intent of the shipping container classroom, which was fully realized in the final product.
The adjacent ‘play’ area has swings, a small play set, and a ton of interesting spaces for kids to expand their imaginations.As seen in this diagram, the project is broken up into four distinct functions: play, learn, gather and grow.
Inside the container is narrow and intimate, promoting collaboration among students who share the learning space. The form of the canopy structure is a nod to the rolling hills that surround the school.