Architect in Italy turns shipping containers into hospitals for treating Covid-19

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Architects have turned to shipping containers to make everything from pop-up shops to co-working spaces, and even teetering towers of student housing. But now the humble corrugated steel box might have found one of its most useful reincarnations yet, in the hands of an international network of architects and engineers who have come together to convert them into two-bed intensive care units for the coronavirus pandemic.

“A group of us started talking a week ago, wondering how could contribute our skills to this emergency,” says Carlo Ratti, an Italian architect based in Boston, where he teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “We all know there is a massive need for more intensive care units across the world, but there are problems with the two existing solutions – as an official report from the Chinese government found, based on their experience of the virus.”