40-Foot Cargo Container Turned into World’s Tallest Periscope

A brilliantly low-tech way to provide a unique view of the surrounding landscape, this massive yet cost-efficient shipping container periscope uses the same elementary construction principles as those childhood do-it-yourself milk carton equivalents.

cargo tower view port

cargo 45 degree mirrors

Framing a clear vista of the nearby Lagoa Santa, a Brazilian lagoon, this upturned container designed by Pedro Barata e Arquitetos Associados sits alongside a structure likewise built in part from containers.

cargo shipping tower

Though a one-off idea for now, this would be a great low-cost solution for sites where excellent views are close but building permanent staircases and decks would not be feasible.

cargo building in context

cargo container periscope

Analogous to the traditional role of a fireplace and chimney inside a home, the tall structure is also a natural focal point for outdoor gatherings.

cargo container building adjacent

A simple system of wood supports and set of mirrors tilted at 45 degree angles reflects the view above for onlookers below. It is ultimately designed to travel, set up to similarly enable views elsewhere, before coming to rest in a final spot yet to be determined.

cargo upturned container view

The architect is pleased with resulting reactions so far: “there’s always someone peeking through the vertical tunnel, trying to understand the ‘technology’ allowing them to do so. By connecting directly two different and faraway spaces, the Superiscope introduces people to architecture as hypertext”