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This reimagined Globe Theatre is created primarily with shipping containers

The Container Globe would be used for theater performances, live music, and as a sculpture garden.

January 17, 2017 |

Image courtesy of The Container Globe

Detroit is a city known for its industrial and manufacturing roots. It had been the beating heart of America’s auto industry and built its reputation with blue collar workers and calloused hands. It makes sense, then, that when it receives an infusion of culture in the form of its very own version of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, some of the city’s industrial charm will rub off on it.

After all, a regular oak-and-thatch replica of the theater just wouldn’t seem a proper fit for the city protected by the likes of RoboCop and Axel Foley. As such, plans for this Globe Theatre, dubbed The Container Globe, call for the structure to be made of, you guessed it, shipping containers.

20-foot-long shipping containers make up the seating galleries for the project. Each container is modified the same way and then stacked three floors high. The containers are fastened together in the same manner as if they were on a container ship.

A 40-foot-long container is placed on a base and modified for use as the three doors leading out to the main stage. A second 40-foot-long container is placed on top for the second floor. The second floor container replaces the three doors with balconies overlooking the stage for actors and musicians. A third 40-foot-long container is placed on top and three other containers are stacked behind to act as the backstage space. Three additional smaller containers are placed behind those for public access.

The stage itself is created with a base and two large pillars holding up a roof. On top of the roof is another container to form the “heavens.” A smaller roof is also placed over this container.

Stairwells, scaffolding, and flooring are added around the outside of the seating gallery containers to act as hallways. The roof is made from standard transparent greenhouse roofing panels and is placed on top of the scaffolding. Finally, the entirety of the Globe’s exterior is covered with an industrial mesh that provides shade and protection from the wind but also allows filtered daylight to enter.

The mesh also provides the benefit of quieting rain by breaking up the drops before they reach the transparent roofing panels below. Depending on whether it is day or night, or if the Globe is lit from the interior or exterior, the mesh will either look like a solid surface or glow from within.

Nicholas Leahy of Perkins Eastman is the lead architect for the project and Michael Ludvik is the structural engineer. Arup will also lend a hand to help with the theater’s environmental performance studies, according to Arch Daily.

The project is expected to cost $6 million. A Kickstarter campaign will be launched in February to help reach this total. To this point, Angus Vail, the project’s founder, as funded the project.

A video below describes in greater detail The Container Globe’s design and construction.



Image courtesy of The Container Globe.


Image courtesy of The Container Globe.

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