The shipping container architecture revolution has arrived in Argentina with the installation of QUO, a quirky new eco-shopping destination in a quiet town called Ingeniero Maschwitz, an hour and a half from Buenos Aires.
Inspired by London’s eclectic Container City, QUO is a vibrant and seemingly haphazard configuration of converted shipping containers, comprising of 57 brightly painted steel containers.
More ‘hip’ mall than strip mall, the triple-storey complex rises from the surrounding greenery and plant life like a Technicolor mirage.
Conceived by BZZ Arquitectura and built by local firm EcoSan, the colourful shopping hub features solar roof paneling, which powers the mall’s LED-lit common areas, and 3,300 square feet of green roof, which improves thermal insulation and air quality.
A container wall frames the entrance, covered in uplifting murals and messages painted by local children.
Porthole-like windows accentuate the maritime aesthetic and history of the converted shipping containers, allowing plenty of natural light to penetrate the pop up shops, makeshift eateries and shipping container workshop within.
Outdoor staircases lead to the upper levels and wheelchair accessible elevators operate inside the stacked shipping containers.
Popular with locals and visitors alike, the philosophy of environmental sustainability that underscores the QUO modus operandi, is attracting a new breed of consumer – the ‘conscientious consumer’.
Various eco-conscious retailers have joined the village-like community at QUO, as have an assortment of galleries, cafes and offices.