Originally the police used to use a Volkswagen van outside the Turkish consulate in Hannover but a new idea was put forward by an architect from Gesamtkonzept to use a shipping container as a police outpost. Part of his response on the idea to the police in the matter is shown below from the architect :-
Because this police car is placed at an exposed location and did not look particularly attractive in the cityscape, Mr. Wilhelmsen had the idea of designing a new, modern solution for a mobile station. His claim here was both to create a high quality and mobile architecture, as well as to establish an open and transparent working place for the police officers, that also can be produced quickly and inexpensively.
With these ideas and a first feasibility study we approached the heads of the local police commissioner’s office. Other than initially expected, the officials enthusiastically accepted the design, because they too were of the opinion that there was need for action concerning the old aged police bus.
Quickly they managed to overcome the bureaucratic, which often bar the way to project realization. Because all the responsible bodies indicated their approval we soon were able to carry on with the planning in close cooperation with the police to a ready for implementation state.
Dealing with local government in the UK I have had many issues over all I can say stupidity. For example contracts have to have a minimum of 3 bids from an approved contractor list for which this sort of building wouldn’t fit into as the providers of such buildings wouldn’t be on the contractor list in the first place. At the same time getting on the list also has a lot of strange requirements such as a minimum of 6 employees where for a maintenance company it may only need 2 to service an entire county for schools and colleges. Which is why this “common sense” approach where an architect can contact the correct people and get the work done without all the usual headaches is an achievement in itself but more so it shows that an old bus has now become a functioning police station that enhances the area instead of making it look worse. Good going on the architect and would be nice to see more shipping container police stations that are obviously a visual deterrent but also something that can look good as well.
Images credit Nils Günther