Pro Features

Project a winner for business and charity

It’s a fundraising mission with a difference: fitting out an aging 40-foot container to give it a new lease on life.

Repurposing the large, blue shipping container into a multipurpose, habitable and consented transportable building is a major task for the small team at Architecture & Interiors Ltd.

Once the months-long ‘Life Box’ project is complete, the container will be auctioned off by Bayleys Real Estate with the proceeds going to Look Good Feel Better (LGFB), a charity supporting people with cancer.

Architecture & Interiors’ managing director Melissa Burne says as well as supporting the charity, the project is an exercise in professional development for the Hawke’s Bay architectural firm and a way to build relationships with other industry professionals.

It would also help educate the public on the process involved and the true costs of completing such a container build project.

“With so many new builds and renovations on the go in Hawke’s Bay at the moment and with small living rising in popularity, we wanted to truly reflect the processes from consenting and compliance to working with many contractors and the council,” says Melissa.

“We are committed to best practice techniques and working with a shipping container has been a real eye opener for my staff and myself. It has been a fantastic team building exercise for us all.”

The company has set aside time every Friday to work on the project, which Melissa says has received incredible support from other businesses.

“A large number of suppliers and contractors have not hesitated in getting involved with us as we embark on this project.”

The team say they chose to partner with Look Good Feel Better because the effects of cancer are close to the hearts of many. LGFB Hawke’s Bay spokesperson Clare O’Higgins says the charity is excited to be involved in the project and really admires Melissa and her team for taking it on.

“As a charity we support those people going through cancer treatment to feel good about themselves again, and let’s face it, the container is getting a bit of a makeover as well, so this is a perfect fit,” Clare says.

Open days will be held at Architecture & Interiors’ Pakowhai Road base during the course of the construction to give the public opportunities to view progress on the container as the project proceeds.

Architecture & Interiors is documenting the project on a blog that can be found on the firm’s website: