Reusing building material in Mexico.

By Dania Vargas Austryjak Wednesday, March 11, 2015 comments

Container buildings, it turns out, are a great alternative for the construction of buildings for commercial use, housing and offices. Container City in San Andrés Cholula in the state of Puebla is a good example of how giant metal crates are being used as an environmentally friendly option.

Steel intermodal containers are originally designed for shipping by sea or land. In the past decade, unused units have been rethought as a good structure for different types of spaces. They are appreciated for their many benefits, such as:

** Low maintenance, because they are strong and endure variable weather conditions.

** Aesthetic versatility, given they can be piled up (up to 8 levels) and organized to create different shapes. Also they can be finished with many materials, inside and out.

** Low cost, due to the fact that both construction time and material investment can be reduced considerably.

** Environmentally friendly, as they are reused materials and can be easily transported. They don’t need previous digging, which minimizes environmental damage.

** Multipurpose, as they can adapt to different needs, constructing offices, houses, commercial lots, etc.

container city puebla mexico

It is because of this that containers where chosen to build this city within a city: Container City in San Andrés Cholula. It is a group of containers efficiently placed not only to hold cafés, bars, restaurants, galleries, shops, etc.; but also to become a piece of modern architecture, a striking and interesting point of reference in the city.

The Container City concept was originated by the UK-based company Urban Space Management Ltd., and was adapted by Gabriel Esper Caram to create the one in Puebla. The idea was of course not only to reuse the containers but also to provide a cool, modern and interesting hangout where people of all ages could gather and enjoy.

The whole space was designed to be as respectful as possible with the environment. Indeed, it is not only the containers that are reused: part of the decoration, floor, and pipes are made from reused materials. It was inaugurated in 2008 and since then it has become a landmark of Puebla and Mexico at large.