There are many ways that shipping containers have been used across the world. People are finding more unique and unusual applications for them, but one architectural company in Brazil has come up with something completely different. They've turned a container vertically and created a giant periscope out of it.
This 12-metre-tall structure is the biggest periscope in the world, and Pedro Barata e Arquitetos Associados came up with the idea to enhance the views of Lagoa Santa. The lagoon is located in the city of the same name, and the Superiscope gives visitors the opportunity to see right across it from the safety of the ground. This is probably not what the majority of users what to take out a container hire agreement for, but it certainly shows that there really is no end to the possibilities that can be achieved.
This has to be one of the most creative uses for shipping containers, with the shell of the periscope manufactured out of the container's exterior. The inside has then been fitted out to operate like a periscope. It uses the same principles that children employ to create periscopes from milk cartons, but just on a far bigger scale.
The Superiscope contains two giant mirrors that are positioned at 45-degree angles to the bottom and top of the container. The light that is reflected off these enables someone standing at the bottom to view the image that is at the top. The inside of the container has been painted black, and the architects have cut out a window at the bottom to enable visitors to view the image. It is an extremely popular attraction with a near constant stream of visitors stopping to have a look at the view.
The creation of the periscope took around a month from the initial designs to completion. They tried out a number of positions to ensure that the view wouldn't be blocked by any buildings or trees. The plan is for it to remain in its current location until November 2015. The company, though, is already looking for its next home so that more people can be amazed at the simplicity of the idea and the stunning views that can be achieved.
Architects have become fascinated by the things that can be achieved through container purchase. They are constantly looking for new and exciting ways to use humble shipping containers for creative and practical applications.