Calnan Shipping Containers and award winning CIT Building

Calnan, a Cork manufacturing company specialising in the engineering of bespoke steel modular buildings, is celebrating the supporting role it played in helping Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) to realise its vision for its Architecture Factory,which was highly commended under the Education &Health category of the INSIDE Awards at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore, 1-3 October 2014.

Challenged to provide six modified shipping containers as a key element of the design, Calnan worked closely with Marc Ó Riain, CIT Department of Architecture lecturer, to create the award-winning work spaces. The design specified that all floors, roofs, container doors and end walls were removed, with the roof material recycled to create a serrated subdivision between the containers and the open work space. The doors and end walls were then replaced with frameless glass panels. The modification and fabrication of the containers was all done by the family-run firm which was established by Jerry Calnan in 1973.

Joe Walsh, managing director of Calnan said:”The challenge was to create a practical and functioning workplace without jeopardising the concept of the ‘shipping container look’.” Joe also said: ”If it can be done, we will do it! We love a challenge and we have the in-house skills and experience to provide a bespoke service, from concept right through to delivery.

“Both Jerry Calnan and I are absolutely delighted for Marc Ó’Riain and the Design team to have received such global recognition for their work which has transformed the old Tyco Building at CIT into a creative hub for students and lecturers.”

The conversion of the shipping containers was not without its challenges but Calnans worked closely with the CIT team and their architects, RKD, to fulfil the design brief on time and within budget.

“All credit to Marc Ó Riain and the team at CIT for having the creative design skills and vision to see the potential of a humble shipping container to become a piece of stunning contemporary interior architecture, “ said Joe Walsh.

The Architecture Factory is currently short-listed in the SBID International Design Awards, London, (14th November 2014) and took platinum in the International A’Design Awards (August 2014).

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