Could Shipping Containers Solve Mumbai’s Slum Housing Crisis?

As one of the most populated countries in the world, India has long been facing a housing crisis.

It’s estimated that as many as 400 million people in India do not have access to electricity, with many living in one of the thousands of slums found in the country’s cities.

To address India’s problem, a SuperSkyScrapers competition was held, with the aim to design an affordable housing solution for one of India’s and the world’s largest slums – Dharavi.

shipping containers

China-based firm CRG Architects designed a colourful skyscraper made from recycled shipping containers to provide temporary housing for local residents.

The design envisions two twin towers that would rise to a total height of 400 metres and 200 metres. In a design that would change the landscape of the densely populated city, the exterior would sport colourfully painted containers that would twist as they rise up in height.

According to the architects, the red, yellow, green and blue colour scheme is supposed to represent the hottest and coldest parts of the building. Red containers are placed on the south facade, blue on the north, and green and yellow on the east and west, showing the transition from cool to hot.

shipping containers

The tallest tower, Tower 1, would maximise floor space being an estimated 78,383sqm and rising 139 floors. Tower 2 would measure 26,693sqm and rise 78 floors.

CRG Architects estimate that the towers could house up to 1,300 families or 5,000 people.

Architect Carlos Gomez told Deezen that around 2,500 shipping containers would be needed to complete the proposed scheme, with the containers themselves supported by a concrete structure.

shipping containers

‘The maximum number of stacking containers one above the other is nine units.

“It means we need to a main structure to support them if we want to have such height.”

CRG have proposed that a single unit could be subdivided to provide a studio flat, while multiple containers could be joined together to provide a multi-bedroom family home.

shipping containers

Gomez said that, “cities are facing unprecedented demographic, environmental, economic, social and spatial changes.”

“There has been a phenomenal shift towards urbanisation, with six out of every 10 people in the world expected to reside in urban areas by 2030.”

“In the absence of effective urban planning, the consequences of this rapid urbanisation will be dramatic,” Mr Gomez said.

“In many places around the world, the effects can already be felt.”

The design was runner-up in the competition, with the architects working with humanitarian organisations to investigate its application elsewhere.


Images courtesy of Deezen, EAFIE & CRG Architects.

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