written by william morgan • photographed by nat rea places
INSIDE THE BOX • Recycled shipping containers add up
to new vitality for Providence’s industrial fringe
recycled shipping containers, 32 in total, form the Box Office, a new-age office complex.
CHEEK BY JOWL WITH THE RAIL- road, the Box Office, a three-story office complex, is definitely on the wrong side of the tracks. Made of 32 recycled metal shipping containers, it occupies an abandoned lumberyard in an industrial
section of Rhode Island’s capital city. This is not the pretty
Providence of Colonial-era houses — the gritty landscape
of brick mills recalls 19th-century industrial powerhouse
Akin to a stack of bright blue, yellow, and green children’s blocks, this office complex is more than just an
eye-catching landmark — it is a remarkable economic and
architectural achievement accomplished during a recession.
While shipping containers have been recycled as housing
in London, Amsterdam, and Seattle, the Box Office is a pioneering commercial effort.
It is the brainchild of young Rhode Island School of
Design–trained architects Peter Gill Case and Joe Haskett
and Brown University graduate and builder Joshua Brandt.
The three were willing to take a risk on developing affordable offices in an energy-efficient new form of construction,
THE BOX OFFICE
460 Harris Avenue
architecture: distill studio
builder: stack design build • developer: truth box inc.