squire and partners upcycle shipping container into a solar learning lab in bogotá

squire and partners upcycle shipping container into a solar learning lab in bogotá


architecture and design practice squire and partners has been approached by computer aid international to develop a prototype solar learning lab nicknamed ‘zubabox’ in bogotá, colombia. the project would improve their existing series of mobile units that provide internet connectivity to remote communities without access to electricity. hence, zubabox provides a safe environment for young locals who would like to develop their social and digital skills.

the zubabox is a solar-powered learning lab constructed from a recycled shipping container



based on computer aid international‘s request, squire and partners has designed a cost-efficient, practical and enjoyable environment for users. the basic unit is constructed from a recycled shipping container with solar panels on the roof, and utilizes donated refurbished DELL computers. locally converted and fitted out, including bespoke timber seating and desks, the zubabox also features a graffiti mural by two local artists. on the other hand, adding a greater touch of colors, donated recycled oil drums were planted with native trees and flowers to create a vibrant landscaped area.

the interior is furbished with donated computers, while the outdoors include a deck and landscape area



the final project presents itself as a simple modular system which can operate individually or as part of a group. by maximizing the possible amount of openings, cross ventilation and natural light increases — as well as creates a shaded external deck which expands the usable area to facilitates integration with the existing community. a larger roof size also allows for an increased number of solar panels. the bogotá zubabox is sponsored by dell legacy of good, and serves a local charity tiempo de juego that provides a friendly and inclusive community for local young people as an alternative to the prevalent culture of gangs, drugs and crime.

video © squire and partners

natural lighting and cross ventilation are increased with maximum openings

the project is sponsored by computer company dell’s legacy of good plan

view towards the city of bogota

bringing a sense of creativity, the learning lab is brushed with a colorful graffiti

zubabox encourages young people to develop their social and digital skills

school children using the zubabox computers

interview and opening of the project

the learning lab is developed for the computer aid international organization



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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