Shipping Containers Used as Art Venues

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David Mach is a Scottish artist and he has become known for making surreal collages and sculptural installations. However, his largest work to date is turning 36 shipping containers into event spaces in Edinburgh.

Mach1, which is the name of the building, is an extraordinary creation in collaboration with Dixon Jones, an architecture studio, and it will become a new focus point on Edinburgh Park, which is a 43-acre business park created by Richard Meier.

Mach took inspiration from piles of rocks on the Fife coastline to create this building and the red color is representative of Forth Bridge and the industrial heritage of Edinburgh. When this creation is completed, it will be 15 meters or 49 feet tall and 50 meters or 164 feet long.

Spacious Inside

On the inside, it will feature a coffee bar and a double-height exhibition space that will show the master plan of the park with scale models, drawings, and information boards so visitors can learn more about the place.

Parabola is developing and investing on this project and they plan to make the space available for events and it will also be used as a marketing office. Construction is set to begin early next year and the park will continue to evolve and grow with other projects being planned such as shops, restaurants, facilities for sports and leisure, and others.

Behind this idea, there’s Mach’s architectural interest in shipping containers. More than a piece of art, the building is a piece of architecture. Shipping containers are familiar and they’re universal, but this building will be something else entirely, which is what Mach wants to accomplish as an artist. To make something completely new out of the ordinary.

Of course, there are challenges to making this kind of building. The team working on this is still figuring out whether or not every part of the building will be made out of shipping containers. However, it is clear that the building absolutely has to look like real containers and it has to be strong. Strong enough to drive a tank over it.

Mach’s vision is to get people to look at this building and think this is something familiar, even though it’s something new entirely.

Leaping from sculpture to architecture might seem like something quite unexpected or unlikely. But for Mach, that’s not the case. In fact, this is not the first time the artist experiments with shipping containers. He has used them for sculptures such as “It Take Two” and “The Temple at Tyre.” This means it’s an idea that has been brewing in his mind for a long time.