World's Largest Container Architecture


©Kyungsub Shin

Architecture : urbantainer + office 53427
SPACE DESIGN :  younjjin jeong, bohyung kim, soyeon song, eunhye choi
BRAND DESIGN : younjin jeong, yang didi, minjeong choi, yejee lee
landscape : live scape

COMMON GROUND is South Korea’s first and the world’s largest container shopping mall complex built with 200 shipping containers. It redefines the conventions of retail platforms by reinterpreting the role of culture, and focusing on connecting people for the sake of creating meaningful value for all involved.


Common Ground is the result of an experiment of revitalising unused land in the middle of the city. By applying prefab methods, e.g. producing modules in a factory, transporting them to the construction site and assembling them on-site, it was possible to reduce the construction time of the 5300m2 building to five months.

©Kyungsub Shin



©Kyungsub Shin
©Kyungsub Shin


In order to maximise the usage efficiency of the elongated rectangular shaped land, the architectural form is based on a center square connecting two buildings.At the traffic-heavy main street side, container modules were stacked to give the building exterior more impact and draw attention from passers-by. The mass on the opposite side has been kept open to naturally connect to the visitor flow of the surrounding environment and invite people in more easily.

Brand Design 

COMMON GROUND is a young and creative Retail Platform. The brand features trendy food culture and a wide palette of diverse activities. The Brand Identity design reflects COMMON GROUND’s brand essence, Creative Connection, a distillation of the idea of connecting people to people, with mutual value creation and exchange in mind.




To represent innovative and progressive brand identity of COMMON GROUND, its own boxes are devided and extended to pictogram, sinage, and collaboration. Brand Identity contains enthusiastic and active communication through combining flexible system with various medium.

Space Design

Inspired by the market as a contact point of connection, the design divides the space into a Market Hall and a Street Market. The design concept emphasises the modularity of shipping containers and turns them into an architectural icon.


Street Market draws inspiration from an alley market and keeps the texture of the container intact as much as possible. Market Hall capitalises on trusses with strong architectural functions and serve as a reminder of the feeling of a market. In this part, the verticality of stacked container modules and the frames between containers are emphasised.

©Kyungsub Shin