San Francisco's Shipping Container Village Grows Up, Adds High-Style Retailer

Aether's jutting glass mezzanine. (Peter Prato)

Aether’s jutting glass mezzanine. (Peter Prato)

There’s a new couture addition to PROXY, the temporary shipping container village in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, designed by architects Envelope A+D.  Adding to PROXY’s cool coffee shop, ice cream parlor, and Biergarten is a new store for clothing company Aether, made up of three forty foot shipping containers stacked atop one another, supported by steel columns.  The guts of the first two containers have been carved out, making a double story retail space, with a glass mezzanine above jutting to the side, providing display space and views. A third container for inventory storage is accessible via a custom-designed drycleaners’ conveyor belt spanning all three floors. Workers can literally load garments from the ground floor and send them up to the top.

PROXY, which has been a huge success, is planning more. The next installation: PROXY_storefront, a series of 9 storefront spaces carved into six shipping containers, to be located around the corner from Aether. Indeed shipping containers are moving beyond residential, taking off in the retail realm. You can visit the new Aether store in person Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00am to 7:00pm or Sunday from 11:00 to 6:00.

Inside Aether's shipping container showroom. (Courtesy Aether)

Inside Aether’s shipping container showroom. (Courtesy Aether)

Aether's innovative automated inventory system. (Courtesy Aether)

Aether’s innovative automated inventory system. (Courtesy Aether)

Aether seen from ground level.  (Peter Prato)

Aether seen from ground level. (Peter Prato)

A peak into Aether from the side. (Peter Prato)

A peak into Aether from the side. (Peter Prato)

Proxy in San Francisco (Envelope A+D)

Proxy in San Francisco. (Envelope A+D)

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