Wesley Jones is an American Architect and author who was a leading architectural voice of his generation. Jones has designed several significant buildings but he is well-known for his innovative ideas on technology and the discipline of architecture.
Architecture which is always known for its fixity and stillness, portable architecture, and its technology gained more attention during the late 19th century. Wes jones always manages to control the complexity in his designs and also uses simple materials like containers which of course bring life to the dead.
Jones has explored many possibilities with the use of containers which can be applied in residential building and towers, Shops, public buildings, laboratories, and housing which are permanent and temporary based on the context and user typology. Keeping the container as a major element, additional elements such as skylights, sunshades, pavilions, and steel envelopes are used as per the need of the user and the environmental adaptability. Ideas such as creating voids, adding thin-framed element to the container breaks the massiveness and monotony in the structure. Some small-scale projects are prefabricated and shipped to sites, such as studio, cafes, and base-camp refreshing units.
Projects like mountain huts, base-camp huts draw inspiration from the nature of its site and the end product is one of its kind. These structures are intended to stand forth concerning user experience. Some of such projects are even connected well with natural elements present in the site. One of his housing projects, Elemental Chile contains stacked units of twenty-feet ISO containers in villa type patterns which satisfies all the needs of the users in a cost-effective way. This housing provides a maximum number of units at a verifiable low cost without sacrificing the community spirit for the need of a neighbourhood.
One of the unique ideas of the series Project Container is the one done for the United States army. The units designed are secure temporary modular housing for the use of army men, civilian contractors who are working remotely from the outskirts of the city. These containers were designed to withstand tremendous abuse as it is proposed for the sites around Iraq and Afghanistan. Container acting as the basic shelter, a thin plate of steel is enveloped in the interior wall for the insulation and protection purpose, it acts as an armour. The panels that are clad around the containers act as a large workspace in between the containers. Considered with the protective measures, the containers don’t have windows and the doors are clad with armoured vestibules as well. Being related to the army, each unit is provided with an escape hatches on the floor and the crawl space is even coated with a grenade so that no enemy can follow the pathway. A double layer of sunshade structure is overlaid around the entire structure. Many such elements like usage of Fibre-optic skylights and bullet-proof vision plate in the units is a metaphor for God is in the details.
The stability in stacking each unit over others without any fault in the montage results in a spectacular visual treat for the viewers. A project in the Nevada state, The Burning Man Tower is a temporary housing unit for a festival event in which cranes are not used to stack the containers up. Instead, containers are joined with their own Jones’s fitting technology in a horizontal position and then hoisted vertically by a team of vehicles. Most of his residential projects are zoned effectively and ergonomically perfect for the usage of inhabitants which also satisfies the adaptability to the surrounding environment.
The basic 20 ft containers are almost used in every project either it is commercial or residential. These are synchronized in varying sequences and configurations to achieve the client’s needs and site conditions. The success of these projects is related to its acceptance of its loose fit between the factory-built units, their arrangements on the site, and local tolerances. The adaptively reused shipping containers sit lightly on the land which can also be used in a temporary structure for natural calamities prone area. External elements such as solar panels are also designed with the containers so that it would also be an energy-efficient unit. These containers can also be stacked or minimized in response to the external climatic factors, site contingencies, or the changing need of the client-challenging impulses towards a futuristic adaptable built environment.
Container projects ranging from small-scale units to urban scale projects made innovative with the technologies available play a vital role in the integration of technology, architecture, and the materials used which eventually create a positive impact on the environment and it makes the construction cost more affordable even for the common man. As the containers are not aesthetically much beautiful- giving a rustic garage look, affordability, durability, adaptability, and timelessness quality makes it more promising in providing a better solution for architecture which needs to be timeless even after its life.