The project has been spearheaded by Vail, with Nicholas Leahy of Perkins Eastman acting as the project’s lead architect and Michael Ludvik as structural engineer. Additionally, the Container Globe team has enlisted the New York branch of Arup for the theater’s environmental performance studies.
The assembly of the Container Globe is kept logically simple, as seen in an animated video released by the team. The bulk of the theater is made up of the shipping containers forming the seating gallery, which are all modified in the same way and stacked into a tower of three such modules. Interestingly, while steel sheets are not usually the material of choice for performance spaces, the design team found that the containers’ corrugation, and its effect on acoustic reflection, actually lends itself well to housing live performances. The rest of the shipping containers are also cut through and added to, forming the backstage and balconies, with stairwells connecting the separate areas. The entire structure is then draped with a “tough industrial mesh,” providing shelter from wind and rain while also letting in daylight. The mesh will also help soften the sound of rain for those inside the theater.
Though currently unbuilt, plans are underway for the first Container Globe to be constructed in Detroit, where it would be used for performances of not just the Shakespearean persuasion, but also for live music, dance, and in winter as a sculpture garden. After this, Vail hopes to reproduce the Globe in other places around the world, anywhere the team can gain access to the shipping containers required. In particular, Vail is interested in mobilising the Globe to communities lacking in cultural infrastructure in order to increase accessibility to the arts.
In the hopes of raising the necessary funds to launch the project, a Kickstarter campaign will be launched in 2017 in the hopes of getting the project off the ground and reaching its goal of “connecting people and performance”.
Images (top to bottom): Container Globe as imagined in various public spaces throughout the world.