Common Ground is The World’s Largest Shopping Mall made from Shipping Containers

Project Title
Common Ground
17-1 Jayang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Completion Year
5300 sqm
LIVESCAPE / Seungjong Yoo
Structural Engineer
PAN Structural Engineering Inc.,Gaon ENG
Construction / Modular Construction
Kolon Environmental Service Co., Ltd.

Common Ground is the world’s largest shopping mall complex (and South Korea’s first) built with 200 shipping containers and covering an area of 5300 sqm.

Designed by Urbantainer (a Korean design studio), Common ground 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. Here’s a description from Urbantainer,

Common Ground is the result of an experiment of revitalising unused land in the middle of the city (Seoul). 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 5300 m2 building to five months.


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.

The two buildings, STREET MARKET and MARKET HALL, are both based on container architecture but are designed with different characteristics in mind. The containers of the Street Market are arranged in a protruding configuration, highlight the individual modules and give the exterior more impact. The Market Hall is made of 12m long-span container modules which are used as separated shopping booths. Same- sized modules as roof of the hall create a usable terrace area on the third floor.

See more about the project on the urbantainer website.

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