Container Architecture Coming to The Grove

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Delsa Development
{this mixed-use container structure would be the first of its kind in St. Louis}

Forest Park Southeast has seen its ups and downs over the course of a decade-long resurgance. There's the modern UIC-designed private residence, but there's also Aventura. There are unlikely buildings being saved, but there is also demolition for a gas station. With several very significant development opportunities remaining, the neighborhood's identity is uncertain. Now a proposal for a unique shipping container mixed-use project looks to push the needle back towards cool.

Patrick Barnidge returned to St. Louis from Italy less than two months ago, where he served as project manager on the full rehabilitation of some of the more incredible villas one can imagine (see below). Now at the helm of his own company, Delsa Development, this high-profile proposal would place Patrick and container architecture at the forefront in St. Louis for the first time.

Delsa Development
{the project would use an LRA lot at 4312-14 Manchester Avenue in The Grove}

The shipping container project, however, won’t be his first work in St. Louis. Patrick previously worked on the Maryland Place condominium project in the Central West End and developed the home at 1730 S. 10th Street in Soulard.

The Grove project has received support from the FPSE Development Committee and would be set on a city-owned (LRA) lot at 4312-14 Manchester Avenue. A four-family brick home stood on the site until being demolished in 2000. That building had been vacant since at least 1993, according to city records.

The mixed-use container structure is planned for first level retail, in addition to a second level if sought by a tenant. Otherwise, the second level could house offices. The third level is planned for residential occupancy. The project now awaits an expected endorsement from 17th Ward Alderman Joe Roddy for the purchase of the LRA lot.

Interest in shipping container architecture has exploded over the past decade. In the US, thousands of shipping containers arrive from around the globe each year. Often, the containers sit empty for a lack of export products to fill them. Used containers can be purchased for as little as $900, while new containers can be had for around $6,000. A simple Google search of “shipping container architecture” shows the enormous variety of structures being envisioned and built.

Anthony Duncan Architect produced the renderings above and has explored other uses for shipping containers in St. Louis:
Delsa Development

Delsa Development

Patrick Barnidge Development Portfolio 2004-2012 by nextSTL

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  • T-Leb

    Is this commercial below with offices above?

    • http://yastlblog.blogspot.com/ Kevin Barbeau

      “The mixed-use container structure is planned for first level retail, in addition to a second level if sought by a tenant. Otherwise, the second level could house offices. The third level is planned for residential occupancy. The project now awaits an expected endorsement from 17th Ward Alderman Joe Roddy for the purchase of the LRA lot.”

      Yep.

      • T-Leb

        How much of this steel container infill would people want to see? Lots? A little? Hopefully they plan on painting over the shipping company insignia on the outside (bottom picture)

        • http://yastlblog.blogspot.com/ Kevin Barbeau

          Let’s just start with one and see what happens…

          I think a handful of these would be interesting, but for bigger modern infill projects on our historic streets, I favor an approach closer to (or exactly like) the infill over on 13th next to Lafayette.

          Man, do I like those buildings…

          • John R

            Kevin, I think one or two would be great infill over in the Grand Center area with a combo of first floor art gallery and second/ floor residential. I also assume these are pretty solidly green buildings and one might be a neat counterpart to the Earthways home. Also, I could see a larger-scale, affordable housing “Green Village” in north Saint Louis, something along the lines of what they are doing down in New Orleans post-Katrina.

  • RyleyinSTL

    I’m game for this!

    How do they deal with insulating these things? Spray foam the whole thing to r20 and frame out the interior? All that steel would be a thermal bridge nightmare so I’m assuming you’d have to do something like that.

  • http://twitter.com/ArchElements ArchitecturalElement

    Worked on a plan for a 60+ apartment bldg complex in South City, until company folded shop. Have plans for a couple of residential units was pursuing until business took off. Might have to dust those off.
    Good luck in financing something like this in STL. Banks here don’t like out of the norm ideas.

  • http://donspoliticalblog.blogspot.com Don

    I LOVE the mix of modern with existing architecture in the City and would love to see UIC-designed private residences spread throughout the City. I like the look of the container building, but,…..

    I’m concerned that the transformed shipping containers are not sufficiently robust to last over time. I fear that in 15 years they will look like rusted out old shipping containers with the lot again being a blight on the community.;

  • http://www.facebook.com/frankpdegraaf Frank de Graaf

    In Amsterdam they’ve made extensive use of container homes in the last decade. There is such a huge demand for (affordable) housing that this is seen as a reasonable alternative for (mostly) student housing. The rent is 400 Euro / 520 dollar per month. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNKzSLBx7LI

    • Geoff Whittington

      I like it Frank…

  • Presbyterian

    I think it could be a lot of fun inviting people over. “Turn left onto Manchester. There’s and old shipping container on the right. I live in there. See you at 7:00?”

  • http://twitter.com/megrot Mark Groth

    Are these possible in historic districts?

    • Alex Ihnen

      No, not a local historic district, which would require architectural review.

  • Kyle Steffen

    It’s too bad Randy’s Recycled Cycles is already well established in the neighborhood. This would be a perfect fit for them. What else would we like to see here?

  • I make sense

    Did this ever make it?