Belgian practice TOOP Architectuur has designed two mobile architects’ studios for its staff made of repurposed shipping containers clad in mirrors and timber. One studio, called Cowes, is set within the rural landscape of Westouter, close to the French border. The other, called Colok, sits at the end of an inner-city garden in Lokeren in East Flanders. Together the project is called Diptych. “The starting point of the concept for our two offices is a low-budget shipping container,” said TOOP Architecturer. “These movable structures can easily be placed everywhere, have a strong formal identity and exist in varied sizes.
Cowes, surrounded by a green, hilly landscape has been covered almost entirely with mirrors. A large, sliding opening at its centre and a full-height window at one end.
“On this beautiful plot we tried to create an office which is as invisible as possible and always lets the landscape speak at its maximum,” said the practice. “Precisely chosen openings for the interior create a connection to the landscape. One is oriented towards a nearby hill, and the other frames a small forest at the end of the plot.”