Cover Story

The Box Office

Industry: Multi-use

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Easily recognized from the 6/10 Connector heading to or from the city, The Box Office comprises 12 office spaces made from 37 repurposed shipping containers. Architect-turned-developer Peter Case conceived the project in 2007, Joe Haskett of Distill Studio designed it and Stack and Co. built it in 2010. It’s one of the largest shipping container buildings in the country, and one of the most energy efficient in the Northeast.

The Box Office was designed specifically to house start-ups, small businesses and entrepreneurs during the recession. Although there was a considerable amount of vacant office space during that time, no spaces appeared to be geared towards small and new businesses. The Box Office made single desks, single container office spaces and double container office spaces available. Fast forward to now, and Peter has seen companies come and go as they have become so successful that a larger space is needed, like Oomph and Social Enterprise Greenhouse. “If each individual company does better, we’re all going to do better in our urban area. These companies are moving out of The Box Office, but they’re just moving to another area of Providence,” explains Peter. “So they’re still in our geographic region but they’re thriving and employing more people. To have played a small part in their growth at an early stage when they needed it, I’ll take that as an accomplishment.”

Perks:

Shared conference room, dog friendly, bike-friendly, showers, electric car charging station, rooftop solar panels to offset utility cost, strong recycling policy

Office designer:

Joe Haskett, now of Union Studios

Building used to be:

...And still is shipping containers

Fun facts:

For Peter, shipping containers are like the plastic shopping bags of the world. They end up in strange places and folks want to know what to do with them. So Peter gets emails regularly from around the world asking about container architecture.

Where they are:

Olneyville

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