In Johannesburg, where student housing is sparse, one developer is taking extreme measures — by creating a 370-bed dormitory out of shipping containers perched atop a set of abandoned concrete grain silos.
Mill Junction will open its doors to students tomorrow, offering amenities like roof decks and free Wi-Fi. It'll also offer the chance to live inside decades-old industrial infrastructure, which is either a plus or a minus, depending on the person. It's taken less than a year to put the final pieces into place, a remarkably short amount of time to build a 15-story structure. That's thanks to the virtue of the already-built structural system provided by the concrete silos, which have sat empty for years.
To ready them for human habitation, the empty silos had to be retrofitted with flooring and dorm rooms — not to mention windows, which had to be cut into the thick concrete:
According to a local news site The Citizen, the shipping containers themselves are over 50 years old — and the structure's developer, Cintiq, had to import a special diamond-titanium blade to saw windows into the sides of each crate.
Using a massive crane, they were lifted into place and bolted together above the silos this summer:
Finally, they were given a fresh coat of paint, and plenty of interior finishes to make them livable. The spaces themselves are unusual — the shared dorm rooms are circular, while the communal spaces up top are low-ceilinged and thin.
According to The Citizen, they're nearly booked solid. I'd definitely live there — would you? [Designboom]
Pictures: Mill Junction on Facebook.