Tech Talk

What I have to share relates to a few topics that frequent my mental space.

& Today We Are Discussing;

Drive Line Studios



Location: Maboneng, Johannesburg
Size: 60,000 SF
Design: 2014 
Completion: November 2017
Structure: Asakheni Engineers
Electrical: VBK Engineering
Plumbing: Abbink Consulting
Fire: Drofnets Engineering
Civil: DG Consulting Engineers

Drive Line studios is an apartment complex located right in the heart of Johannesburg, South Africa.

But what makes this piece of real estate particularly relevant?

& Why Do We Even Care?

This captivatingly innovative architectural structure is at the intersection of design, material & use of environment.

It is located in Africa.

South Africa to be exact.


& The Specifications?

Well there are;

  • 2 Buildings (Blue & Green)
  • 7 Stories (each)
  • 140 x 40 Foot Containers
  • 104 Apartment Units
  • Three Retail Spaces

Drive Line Studios was designed by a New York-but Naples based-firm called LOT-EK. They championed the practice of using shipping containers as building blocks for the structural foundations in their projects.

Their design style highlights the movement of incorporating hybrid building materials into design in Africa.

You may have heard of the business/entrepreneur’s guide-book : The Lean Startup

But Did You Really Get The Gist Of It?

Keep the cost of running the business low while channeling funds towards profit bearing parts of the machine.

So How Is This Achieved In The World of Construction?

Prefabricated parts!

PreFabrication: Is the practice of pre-assembling components of a structure in a factory or other manufacturing site, then transporting complete –or sub-assemblies to the construction site where the structure is then assembled & put into place.

Shipping containers are made from super durable metal. They are also able to hold & transport massive amounts of weight.

Don’t forget their stack-ability capabilities.

Shipping containers are extra stackable!

Talk about prefabrication.

Am I Right?

LOT-EK has proven it possible to UPCYCLE 140 shipping containers, creating a building that houses approx. 2 residents per apartment with 208 individuals across 104 apartments & 3 retail spaces!



What Could This Truly Mean?

Well this could change the way Africans approach their living spaces; hopefully bringing about more innovative architectural styles tailored to the African climate & living style.

But more importantly though it brings about;

Affordable Housing Opportunities & Affordable Business Opportunities.

with prices of real estate on the rise as always.

Yes; there are 3D printers printing entire houses &

yes; there are numerous flat package shipping breakthroughs, metal framing, metal buildings, prefabs, blah blah blah

We get it;

we really do.

but a quick google search will let you know there are about 20,000,000 Shipping containers on planet earth.


& millennials –WhoToldYou– are all about the 3 Rs




So why not turn this boring & potential future environmental nightmare: buy-shipping-containers-online-in-houston-texas

Into this beautiful slice of paradise:

LOT-EK-drivelines-studios-shipping-containers-johannesburg-south-africa-designboom-06.jpgBring your Lego box set dreams to life.

All you have to do is play with bigger toys.

Imagine; building with life-sized Legos. LOT-EK certainly did.

Could shipping containers be the building blocks for the “Wakanda” in the Black Panther movie?

Our black utopia, in a world so cruel to melanin ?

0218-WI-APAFRO-02_sq.jpgI guess we all will have to wait & see.

with WhoToldYou 

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