Container City: Amy Cragg, 2003
As a port city Seattle has connections to cities all over the country and all over the world. Goods are moved from Japan to Seattle to Idaho to New York and back. The containers in which the merchandise travels find temporary homes along the waterfront in Seattle. They rest in the yards of the port, in rail yards, and in industrial lands along the Duwamish. These containers are physical manifestations of Seattles connections to other places.
Together, the shipping containers create a kind of urban architecture within Seattle. Containers stacked upon each other create enclosure along busy roadways; much the way buildings would do if they were there. They frame the space along Highway 99, announcing to visitors, You are in Seattle. This is a working town.
The containers also add unexpected brilliance to the urban fabric of Seattle. They are red, yellow, and blue, eclipsing the grey color of the downtown buildings in the background.
When you are closer to the containers they create ever intriguing small spaces. The containers create a miniature city with small streets, alleys, and tall buildings. They might form narrow view corridors through them to the scenery beyond or frame a new view of the sky.
The pattern of stacked containers suggests questions one could ask about the city. How could buildings or other built forms reflect this pattern of a working landscape? Are there other ways that shipping containers could be used? How could this working landscape be integrated with other uses along Seattles waterfront?
Could I go exploring in this city of bright blue and yellow containers?
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Last modified: 12/16/2005 12:12 AM