An eye-catching new headquarters building in Southampton Docks has a familiar look to it - it is built entirely out of converted shipping containers more often seen on ships crossing the world’s oceans.
The new 3,500 square foot, two-storey depot terminal office for Solent Stevedores has been constructed by a nationwide supplier from 11 steel containers professionally converted to office use and then welded together.
The new building is designed to accommodate up to 50 people and includes a large conference room with a balcony, office space for 12 people, a canteen area, changing and shower facilities and more.
It is estimated that building the new headquarters from shipping containers has saved Solent Stevedores 40 per cent of the cost but if they are looked after appropriately, there is no reason why these containers won't last for the same amount of time as brick-and-mortar buildings.
Construction of the new building took just four months with 97 per cent of the fabrication and conversion of the containers completed away from the site and then put together on location. The Willbox conversion team also completed the designs and plans for the building.
“This is the biggest project that we have undertaken and it pushed all the boundaries for us from a project management point of view.
Said James Dale, Head of Conversions for Willbox.
“The containers are designed with a 15-year life expectancy in harsh conditions at sea, but if they are looked after appropriately there is no reason why these containers won’t last for at least 30 to 35 years.
“Once we had the design brief from Solent Stevedores we worked on a specification for this building that made it the perfect working space for the staff. There is a 360-degree view from the building and we have worked hard to take away any perceptions that it could be claustrophobic by putting lots of windows in.
“This is going to be a very comfortable building for all those that work there - at no point will it feel like they are in an enclosed container box. Instead, it will feel like a cohesive and contemporary designed modern building.”
Chris Williams, Managing Director for Willbox added:
“We are delighted to have successfully handed over this new headquarters building for Solent Stevedores, and we look forward to seeing the building occupied and in use for many years to come, showing off the flexibility of shipping containers for modern architecture.”
“We wanted a new headquarters building that represented the environment in which we work in Southampton docks, and so having it built from shipping containers seemed like the right choice.
Said Clive Thomas, Commercial Director at Solent Stevedores.
“The team from Willcox has done an exceptional job, delivering our new building in just four months and saving us significantly against building using bricks and mortar. Not only that, it looks fantastic too. We are going to be very happy here.”