Architecture with containers or otherwise cargotecture uses shipping containers as its basic element and in this way it \’recycles\’ and redefines their use. The containers are made of steel and some of them transfer materials, while others have turned into warehouses and several of them are used as modern houses. This project of touristic development using container constructions, takes place in the wider region of Sfakia, in Scaloti.
The main reasons of choosing containers were their dimensions, their low cost, their portability, standardization in production, transport and storage, the idea of reuse, the “less is more” in manufacturing and aesthetic results. Inspired by their industrial style and taking into account their integration into the natural landscape, our aim is to create accommodations that are modern and at the same time completely harmonized with the wooded surroundings. Apart from housing units, we also design functional units that serve visitors, such as a bakery, a restaurant, a reception, leisure spaces such as a cafe-bar, a grocery unit, dressing rooms and toilets. Our basic design intention is to take advantage of their orientation. For this reason, we provide larger openings to the south for better use of solar energy, offering more warmth in winter and coolness in the summer. The openings in the north are small and primarily serve the view and the natural cooling of the structure, while they have such size as not to allow the sun\’s heat in the winter. Another main design principle is the container’s integration into the natural environment and the interaction between them.
The containers have the size of 8m * 3.20m. and they are ergonomically designed so as to fully cover the needs of 1 or 2 persons. Although the containers have certain dimensions, they are able to expand through variable surfaces that can be drawn or opened. In this way the interior can be converted into an integral with the outdoor environment and compact balconies can be used as an extension of the day zone. The same principle, however, also passes into the interior design using changeable surfaces wherever their use is able to redefine space. The cooking, food and rest zones are distinguished in such a way so that comfort is ensured and the feeling of open space in maintained. In both modules of habitation we have chosen to use a wooden lining in the interior, with surfaces that can be opened or release space, depending on the user’s desire. For example, by opening the west face of the container, two wooden panels create a sitting surface. We have generally created movable surfaces, designed to serve different functions of the users and able to change each time the scene of the interior. Also, under construction are shaded outdoor spaces which offer the potential of becoming familiar with the surroundings and platforms as extensions of the \’inside\’ to the \’outside\’ and vice versa.
Finally, the design is articulated in a system of linear incisions that go through the entire length of the study area, highlighting the fact that it borders on the sea. The surrounding green space is developed in different scales, favoring the interaction of different ecosystems with a variety of vegetation, while at the same time separate zones of habitation are established. The proposal organizes different zones of nature, movement and wandering in a movable and not static manner, at various levels such as limits or freeways. A network of movements produce a grid of meetings.