Katie Lam

Container Ship Box Coffee Shop

Class of: 2025

Major: Architectural Design BFA

Medium: An architectural model made from foam core, cardboard, and wooden blocks

Faculty: Christian Nguyen

Prompt: The assignment was to choose a physical location and design and build a 3D architectural model of a house/shop that would exist in that space. The process included going out into my neighbourhood to find a location, developing isometric and orthographic plans, building a prototype, fabricating the actual model to scale, incorporating furniture, photoshopping figures into your space, and photoshopping your final model into photographs of the physical space.

I created an architectural model of a coffee shop for a physical space in a residential area near my neighbourhood. I chose to create a coffee shop because the closest coffee shop from this residential area is around a 25 minute walk which is not ideal for a quick coffee pickup or an environment to socialize and study.

My chosen location faces the beautiful South China Sea which is why it’s two stories tall with a viewing deck at the top. I was inspired by container ships as it speaks to Hong Kong’s famous shipping ports while also giving it a hip coffee shop vibe. I tried to closely mimic the form of a container ship box by using exact to-scale dimensions of an actual shipping box and incorporating corrugated cardboard as my outer layer of material.

My idea for the functions of each space is split by floor. The first floor has no seating as it is more of a busy space where people can come and go to order food and drinks. The second floor is more of a workspace/socializing space and I included countertop tables and 2-4 people seating tables. The top floor is intended for an open-air socializing space possibly for events and parties, and the furniture includes long tables and benches to promote family-style seating.