Taxi Container Pool, While Perhaps Not Practical, Makes A Statement In Pink
Zeppelin Development is painting the container pool at the Taxi mixed-use development pink and opening it up to organizations that support women’s causes.
Zeppelin Development President Kyle Zeppelin said because of the nation’s focus on sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement, the company decided to paint the pool pink.
“We try to get pretty active in community-wide issues, and we’re using the pool as a platform for some of those functions,” Zeppelin said. “We have a program that’s still taking shape. We’re collaborating with Planned Parenthood to host fundraisers and other women’s events.”
When it was first installed, the Taxi Container Pool was painted orange, but Zeppelin said that had the effect of making the water look dirty, so it has been painted blue for the last couple of years.
“It’s a living experiment,” he said.
The pool is made of two corrugated steel shipping containers welded end to end. Flanking the pool are 12-foot-wide decks that serve the more than 1,000 workers and 100 residents at Zeppelin’s Taxi mixed-use development at 3455 Ringsby Court in Denver’s River North neighborhood. The 75-foot-long pool is 8 feet at its deepest and gradually reaches 3 feet at the shallow end, ensuring kids have a place to splash around. There is a barbecue and pool furnishings, as well as changing rooms.
“We call it the beach, and we pour sand around it,” Zeppelin said.
Zeppelin said he has gotten calls from all over the world from people seeking information about how to build a swimming pool from shipping containers. Zeppelin’s advice? Don’t.
Instead, he recommends purchasing a prefabricated pool that looks like a shipping container. They usually cost around $50K, compared to the $125K Zeppelin spent to build the Taxi Container Pool in 2012.
“To re-create it now would cost two or three times that,” Zeppelin said.
And because containers were not designed to hold water, it costs up to $60K to recondition the pool, but Zeppelin said the cost is worth it to provide a different kind of experience for Taxi’s tenants and residents, who also enjoy amenities like a fitness center, steam rooms, cafés and meeting spaces.
“Containers aren’t typically designed to be pools — the metal is too thin,” Zeppelin said. “Just being in a container and that the container has been left intact adds to the experience. You feel this post-industrial setting around you that isn’t typical.”
Shipping containers have been used for a variety of projects around Denver, including 25th & Larimer, an 8,200 SF mixed retail and office space development composed of 29 reclaimed shipping containers; and Avanti Food & Beverage, a food collective that houses seven different restaurant concepts in modified shipping containers.
While Zeppelin has used shipping containers for the pool and a bike storage facility and even considered using one to build a mountain lodge-type of space, he said they aren't always practical.
“They’ve gotten overused,” he said. “They’re not very functional for a lot of things. They don’t provide insulation, and they get dented very easily. If you modify them too much, they may be unsound.”