In 2010 a German advertising agency approached me to design them a low-cost workplace in the Black Forest, just outside the town of Hechingen. Sadly, the advertising agency stopped trading before it started and the project was never realised.

Project Name: Hechingen Studio
Architect Name: Whitaker Studio

Hechingen Studio By Whitaker Studio - Sheet1

The client was keen to use shipping containers to keep costs low and needed a small office that would encourage the growth of their company. Taking inspiration from crystal growth in a science laboratory and the soaring towers of Hechingen Castle, I arranged 11 containers in this radial form. The upper containers trace the sun’s path through the sky while the lower containers provide an array of quiet working spaces that all open onto the central heart of the office.

Hechingen Studio By Whitaker Studio - Sheet3In 2010 I spoke to Gardiner & Theobald in Berlin who had just finished working on a steel building. They knew who to buy shipping containers off in Rotterdam and the perfect metal fabricators in Hamburg. After fabrication, the modules would be transported to site where they would be bolted together, sitting on top of concrete columns rising from the foundations.

Hechingen Studio By Whitaker Studio - Sheet4Images by Whitaker Studio

James Whitaker Profile

James Whitaker is a registered architect. He studied architecture at The University of Edinburgh, where he also taught animation and multimedia. He has worked in London and Hong Kong in the studios of Thomas Heatherwick and Ron Arad on a variety of projects, big and small. James’s photography work has been exhibited widely and published internationally, from the BBC Culture Show to Architecture New Zealand. Joshua Tree Residence was the most popular project on Dezeen in 2017.


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