Shipping containers converted into student housing

27th February 2015 By: Megan van Wyngaardt - Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

Shipping containers converted into student housing

Property management company Citiq has officially opened its Umhlanga Junction Extension, a 75-bed student apartment block, in Brixton, built entirely from shipping containers.

Situated in Caroline street, the striking building was erected within two months.

“We believe Brixton has amazing potential because of its location and the many historical buildings that lend themselves to repurposing and refurbishment,” Citiq CEO Paul Lapham said.

He added that shipping containers made “for an amazingly simple module, with the apartment block being erected around the basic living modules”.

“Really creative design is required to make this a truly attractive apartment block and the shipping containers are combined with different materials, cladding and colours to achieve a modern and appealing appearance.

Careful planning had gone into creating a home-from-home environment with top-quality affordable rental accommodation that was secure and convenient and that met the needs of the modern student. Rentals were inclusive of services, including Wi-Fi.

Each of the six floors had single and double accommodation with a communal kitchen and dining area, recreation room, lounge and laundry.

Energy efficiency was ensured through double-glazed windows, the provision of hot water by heat pumps and motion-sensor energy-efficient lighting throughout the building.

“The new dedicated cycle lanes in Caroline street that form part of the Johannesburg City Council’s Corridors of Freedom initiative will also allow students the opportunity to cycle to their lectures swiftly and safely instead of walking,” Lapham added.

Citiq was now planning to convert four semi-detached structures on the opposite side of the road, next to an existing Citiq student apartment block. Plans were being drawn up, while maintaining the heritage value of the existing structures.

“Brixton is convenient for students studying at the University of Johannesburg and we hope to create a village that caters specifically for the needs of students and helps them achieve academic success,” Lapham noted.
Citiq also built an apartment block in Windsor street and was responsible for the silos conversion at Mill Junction and the 27Boxes shopping centre.

“In trying to stem the housing shortage in South Africa, the solution would be to go vertical as is the trend globally and ‘cargotecture’ (a term used to describe a building system using containers) could be the answer,” the company said.