The Garden Pantry – Brisbane (Australia)

Hi there! Hope things are going well for you.
Today I’d like to take you to one of the projects I worked on during my professional time in Australia.

The company I was working for by the time, in 2018-2019, was in charge of developing a temporary food court for the new West Village development located in West End, Brisbane, Australia.  The development is a commercial and residential complex in an area of Brisbane considered as alternative, in other words, quite hippie. Many people actually believe the complex changed the character of the local environment. However, it is not the aim of this Blog post to discuss it.

Overall view of the temporary ‘The Garden Pantry’ food court integrated with the still existing garden. Source:

The Project

In 2018, CluiDesign was in charge of the design of this temporary eatery area of the development and I was part of the project. The idea was to adapt ship containers into small shops that would serve food and beverages for a certain period of time, until the development would be finished. The designers of CluiDesign created the spatial concept and also part of the landscape design.

The project should also blend and integrate appropriately with the beautiful ‘The Garden Pantry’ enchanted garden, creating a brand new mixed public-private area for the local population. The garden had also a nocturnal lighting design providing a brand new attraction for the area.

Ship containers are quite common items found everywhere in the globe these days. Thousands of them become superseded and go to waste. Therefore, what a good idea to reuse them for commercial or even residential purposes?

Many of the ship containers actually end up in the ocean after big storms or due to transportation company’s negligence causing pollution, read more about it on ‘Why are shipping containers lost at sea and where do they end up?’.

Food court entrance and its internal ambience. Source: The writer’s personal gallery.

The food court’s internal ambience with its plenty use of planting and natural lighting. Source: The writer’s personal gallery.

Side view of the temporary food court and its overall look reusing ship containers. Source: The writer’s personal gallery.

The Garden Pantry enchanted garden, a mixed use space (private-public) created as local gathering area. Source:

Side view of the temporary food court and its overall look reusing ship containers. Source:


Ship containers when appropriately reused and adapted can create quite functional and compact spaces which can be useful for different purposes. Another interesting way of reusing ship containers is adapting them into homes. One of our previous Blog posts actually bring this topic for you. Check it out on ‘Tiny Houses‘.

The place stayed open for about two years while the complex got completed and caused a general good impact in the area. However, there are some issues to be taken into consideration related to sun exposure and ventilation. Places created with ship containers must be properly studied beforehand and consider natural ventilation, proper insulation and natural lighting of the spaces in order to create spaces that are both functional and not costly in terms of energy consumption.

During some times of the day the internal areas could get very hot and the fans would not be enough for cooling off the temperature. Be aware of those down sides of the use of ship containers in your projects, specially in tropical regions, so that you don’t have future headaches. However, it is undeniable that those metal structures could be properly reused in Architecture projects ♣

Detail of the food shops’ retractable windows with access for order and food pickup area. Source: The writer’s personal gallery.




Important Sources:

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    03/07/2024 at 12:07 AM

    Wow, it's so gorgeous. But also visit us in Kasese in Uganda for the wildlife and nature tours

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