rethinking containers architecture competition

Unbox 2017 Architecture Competition

Submission: January 15, 2018
Registration: January 08, 2018
Language: English
Location: Iceland
Prizes: Please see details below
Type: Open


The world today has become aware of the reckless utilization of natural resources and is now making conscious efforts to move towards a sustainable future. In this endeavor, it has become imperative to rethink our approach towards building materials to ease the pressure on the conventional ones.

The Shipping Container is one such potential building material that boasts of good structural quality, can be recycled easily and is universally available. With over two million unused containers docked on ports around the world, the UnBox 2017 aims to explore the prospective functionality of these as efficient structural components that aid in the creation of ingenious ideas and in re imagining sustainability.

UnBox 2017 intends to illustrate the inventive functionality of the material to the masses by using the containers to craft spaces in the public realm. The competition wants to enhance the future of public spaces with material innovation that fosters disruptive architecture and sustainability.


UnBox 2017 welcomes all students, architects, designers, teachers, thinkers, innovators and everyone who believe in the idea of creating a sustainable future.
Participants are to design a public space in an urban or rural area using 4 container units. They can use the container units from the following sizes:

Type 1: 8’ x 10’ x 8’6”
Type 2: 8’ x 20’ x 8’6”
Type 3: 8’ x 40’ x 8’6”

Participants are free to select a site for their project. The designed solution should strike a dialogue with its surroundings. The containers themselves should be designed to become disruptive and the solutions crafted should be adaptable to the changing demo-graphical dynamics of the site. The design should also respond to the site context selected.

The design model can be prototype that can be replicated at other locations.
The designed space has to be sustainable in nature and should cater to the public domain. The participants are to challenge the way the containers are used presently and create inventive solutions that are used for public utility.


Early Bird Registration: 8th October 2017 to 8th December 2017
Participants from India: INR 1800(per team)
Participants from other countries: USD 65(per team)

Standard Registration: From 9th December 2017 to 9th January 2018
Participants from India: INR 2400 (per team)
Participants from other countries: USD 85(per team)

Last Day for Queries: 20th December 2017

Closing Date for Registration: 8th January 2018

Closing Date for Submissions: 15th January 2018

Announcement of Winners: 15th February 2017

*Note: All deadlines are 11:59 pm – 00:00 IST (India).

Unbox2017 Competition is open to all. We invite architects, students, engineers, designers, thinkers, companies, organizations and everyone interested in the mission of the competition to submit their ideas. No professional qualifications are necessary.

3Winners +10 honorable mentions
Winners and honorable mentions will be published on VOLUME ZERO website and design magazine and other international magazines.

1st Prize: USD 200 Publication + Certificate
2nd Prize: USD 200 Publication + Certificate
3rd Prize: USD 800 Publication+ Certificate
10 Honorable mentions: Certificates

Go to the competition’s website