TheVissershok Container Classroomis a combined classroom and library solution designed for a rural school in Cape Town, South Africa. The project was designed to host a class of up to 25 children between ages five and six and a small library that serves the entire Vissershok Primary School. The solution was designed byTSAI Design Studiowhich is based in Cape Town and has been recognized with the Silver Medal at the34th Lorie Awardsin the architecture category in 2013.
The solution responded to the need of providing covered spaces with a reduced budget.
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
This product has been implemented byTSAI Design Studioand and was co-sponsored by Woolworths, Safmarine and AfriSam.
Shipping containers are mass-produced for the transportation of goods. The structural capability, modularity, transportability, and interior space capacity of shipping containers are advantageous for their application in this type of solution. The site preparation consisted of the construction of a concrete platform and steps to adapt the classroom to the existing site and create outdoor space for the children. The platform is also the foundation for the shipping container that was transported and installed using a crane. To protect the shipping container from direct sunlight, designers added a roof composed of a steel structure and corrugated metal panels.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
The product is provided byTSAI Design Studio.
Distributions to Date Status
As of 2020, one unit has been built in Cape Town, South Africa. According to the designer, the client intended to replicate the building in around 20-50 schools in South Africa but the plan did not unfold due to the economic recessionInterview with designer in 2020
Unique Design (Yes/No)
Intended number of occupants (#)
Duration of construction (days)
Footprint area (m²)
Number of storeys
A shipping container is composed of a steel frame enclosed with sandblasted corrugated corten steel panels.
Flammable flash point temperature (ºC)
热绝缘能力(m²* K / W)
R-Value of corten steel is 0.062 m²*K/W
Maximum wind speed (km/h)
Although no specific data were found, the designer pointed out the area suffered gale force storms recently and the building has withstood winds of speed of 80-120 km/hInterview with designer
Structural Occupancy Category
Seismic Design Category
The internal dimensions of the shipping container are 12.05 m length, 2.36 m height, and 2.35 m wide. The container has a 66 m³ capacity.
The designer stated the building was implemented using robust building materials "so local laborers can maintain it without any special skills."Interview with designer in 2020
The lifespan of a typical shipping container isbetween 10-12 years for use in shipping industry. However, depending on maintenance, shipping containers durability could exceed twenty years. The designer manifested the building can withstand between 20-30 years with regular maintenance, especially with "new paint and rust sealant."Interview with designer in 2020
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
The designer sought to provide a learning area for a classroom and library, a gathering area with an outdoor patio, a play area, and a garden area. The leaning area was designed to provide space for up to 25 children ages between five and six and a small library for the school. The patio served as an exterior space for children's gathering and the garden area is used as an educational tool to teach students about growing vegetables.
Vetted Performance Status
Only testing performed by the users, no third-party testing has been completed.Interview with designer in 2020Exact results from user feedback are unknown.
No known safety hazards are related to this product.
Complementary Technical Systems
Water tanks for rainwater harvesting and occupancy sensors and LED lights to decrease energy consumption.Interview with designer in 2020