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An excellent method of reusing — there are more than 300 million shipping containers sitting empty at ports around the world — shipping containers are used to build full and part-time single-family homes and much more.
The Container Guest House is the first of several projects by Poteet Architects we will be featuring. Atelier Workshop’s Port-a-Bach shipping container home might just make standard RVs obsolete. Taking the portability of shipping container housing to an altogether new level of portability, this 20-foot container has been outfitted with an entire studio apartment, including a kitchen and a full bath with a composting toilet.
The main living space of the light-flooded Adam Kalkin Container House in Califon, NJ is three shipping containers wide by two shipping containers tall with two sides made almost entirely of glass. It is a wall of containers, built against a hill in Wellington, New Zealand, designed and built by Ross Stevens.
Built cheaply ($118,000), quickly (in fewer than 90 days) and primarily with recycled objects (two 40-foot shipping containers and two 20-foot shipping containers and wooden pallets), the two-story Manifesto House designed by architects James & Mau in Curacavi, Chile, proves that quick, inexpensive and green contemporary casas can indeed be good-looking. This project questions the need for excessive space and challenges occupants to be efficient. Gabriela Calvo and Marco Peralta dreamed of living in their fantastic property 20 minutes outside of the city of San Jose, Costa Rica; where they could be with their horses and enjoy the natural landscape. Byron Galan is a graphic designer from El Salvador who founded Betype a other graphic design related Tumblr blogs gathering more than 400k followers.
When you leave for work and want to lock your doors, you simply push the button again and the home is protected by it’s steel shell. The architects website states that the home has bunk beds, a double bed room, and a dressing room. When it comes to mobility the contain rests on 6 concrete footings, allowing the home to be sited at a variety of different ground conditions. Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture designed this orange container home for clients in San Jose, Costa Rica. This structure, which was exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis is called the MDU, or Mobile Dwelling Unit, and was designed by Lot-EK.
Note the white corrugated wall; that should tip you off that this is the interior of a shipping container home. Poteet Architects, a firm known for its adaptive reuse of existing buildings, designed this 32-square-foot guest house in San Antonio, Texas using a shipping container. The emerald green-accented Crossbox house in Brittany, France was designed by CG Architects. Cove Park, located on 50-acres of Scotland’s west coast, is a community of established artists. This Adam Kalkin Container House in Califon, New Jersey, is three shipping containers wide by two shipping containers tall. This perfectly simple, wood clad, absolutely horizontal 40-foot cargo container house sits on a flat site in the Galician countryside of Spain.
Maziar Behrooz Architecture designed this 840-square-foot art studio next to the client’s house in the summer enclave of the Hamptons on Long Island, New York. In my mind recycling shipping containers for buildings is a great use for an otherwise obsolete product. Just an FYI , The SEED Project is actually developing unused shipping containers as Emergency alternative housing options for people impacted by disasters. Its great to see continued interest in Container based Construction – to be honest I wasn’t sure if it was a fade that would die out of not but just like the Tiny Homes they have staying power ! This a great list and is a great way that recycled shipping containers can continue to be useful even after they are done being shipped all around the world. We have an exciting new sea container project that you might be interested in following up in Canada.
I would like to bring this kind of home made by container in my family land in Africa (RDC).
I’m a big fan of cargotecture and I love how these virtually indestructible crates lying around us can be repurposed to serve as stylish modular living spaces. I believe that they have a great potential and something has to be done about the negative public perception of this concept. I really love using shipping containers on my designs, the idea captured my interest in designing houses like this..
Coffee shops and cafes – Recycled shipping container inspired by the transportation of tea and coffee.
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In their most basic form, recycled shipping containers offer a quick and inexpensive solution to emergency housing needs and when stacked sky-high, they make for intriguing dormitory complexes. As a national award-winning firm, Poteet Architects is best known for their sensitive adaptive reuse of existing buildings and a fresh, rigorous approach to modern interior design.
A veritable home on-the-go, you can roll into place, fold down one side, make your bed and be right at home. It also has a “non-invasive foundation”, which allows for plenty of flexibility in terms of ground placement. That’s not the case with the Mobile Dwelling Unit, a proudly single-decker shipping container home that avoids the claustrophobic “long but narrow” syndrome by incorporating pop-out elements that extended from the 40-foot long, 8-foot wide core of the home, accordion-style. It uses the spaces between the containers and the hill to expand its living space beyond that limiting interior dimensions of a standard ISO box.
In addition to being constructed from 85 percent recycled, reused and nonpolluting materials, the bioclimatic and modular design of Manifesto House incorporates alternative energy systems. Two shipping containers saddlebag a taller common space that connects local rock outcroppings to the expansive mountain ridge views. They made the very bold choice of exploring with me the possibility of creating a very inexpensive house made out of disregarded shipping containers that allowed them to be dept free and live the life they always dreamed of.
I had planned on purchasing one for a home, but I think I’ve recently decided to use one as a recording studio instead. My favourite aspect of this home is how it manages to meld the exterior and interior so well – at the push of a button the container begins to tranform, revealing an exterior deck and a lofted sleeping are, which can be left exposed to the elements when the weathers good. One side of the container is populated predominately with floor-to-ceiling windows, bathing the interior with natural light on the cloudiest of days. The bedrooms are in the containers while the entry, dining, living, and a loft is in the center area. Upcycled steel shipping containers were used for a steel frame, which was then clad with a sustainable bamboo facade.
The project involved transforming a mechanical room and adding a bedroom with a patio on the roof.
In fact, this Houston residence is composed of three containers, to make a total of 1,538-square feet of living space.
The interior is lined with bamboo plywood for the floor and the walls and the deck is made out of recycled soda bottles. Two shipping containers are cantilevered above two more, and there’s a planted roof too.
In 2002, Container City created three cubes made of shipping containers to act as artist retreats, and another six were added in 2006.
Glass on two sides allows ample light to shine in, and the industrial materials continue throughout, with a concrete floor and steel beams and columns.
Its porch and removable awning allow for outdoor enjoyment, which is ideal since it’s a summer house. They used two shipping containers which were painted dark charcoal to match the main house; both blend into the surrounding woods. She lives in Boston where she contributes regularly to local publications and writes her own interior design blog, StyleCarrot. There is just as much honesty in using the container as a design system, and then decorating it how you like.
The link below is great blog and infographics that details the life of a shipping container from new to retirement where it could possibly become a new home.
Easier fabrication into a home, and if you keep the doors original format you can torch the locking bars off then use a more conventional door locking system.
You can actually find container homes all over the country, from the beach, to the jungle, to the mountains. I put together a few reasons why I think these container homes are a viable housing alternative together with a few examples and links for companies in Canada. It allows anybody to make ecologically sensitive choices that would normally be too cost-heavy for the average homeowner.
Between this, tiny homes, and the people that Pinterest their wooden palate creations my evenings are pretty much booked for internet time. Architects Fulton + Salomon have been specializing in container architecture for many years with projects worldwide.
Probably somewhat like an improvised space without any real structure and without a well-defined design. Produced in their millions they are incredibly strong, robust, highly secure and affordable.


This project originated from Poteet Architects’s client’s wish to experiment with shipping containers. If and when the home is in transit, the elements — kitchen, bathroom, reading nook, bed, desk, sofa and storage space — fold back into their slots.
We think it looks like the perfect spot to kick back, relax and have a couple of cervezas all the while keeping our eco-footprints at a bare minimum. The containers house sleeping and work functions while the center space provides entry, dining, living and a loft above. It was important for me to provide them with the sunrise, the sunset, the spectacular views, and overall try and create a feeling of comfort and home. The project is planned to be off-the-grid using solar orientation, passive cooling, green roofs, pellet stove heating, and photovoltaics to create electricity.
The home includes a rainwater collection system, solar cell-clad green roof, skylights, and permeable paving. When traveling, its sub-volumes are pushed in to fill the entire container, and then interlock so the container is left flush and can be shipped worldwide. Pictured above is a yellow aluminum container that has been partially deconstructed to become an open outdoor space. Architect Christopher Robertson of local firm Robertston Design says one of the goals was to make it feel like a typical home.
Rustic fir flooring and mahogany closing doors ensures it works in its wooded surroundings. Everyone has personal taste, and where is the fun in building a house if you can’t decorate it. High Cubes allow for much better air circulation and loft storage or other loft interior options.
Great for DIYers as you can leave your MIG welder power source inside, ground it to the shell, then take a suitcase feeder where every you like. And in most cases feels more like a sleek designer pad than a house built from used shipping containers. We also assist clients in source their containers with modifications completed before the containers are delivered to site. This one combines disclosure of what it’s made of with a sense of beauty perfectly, I love it! The containers are designed to carry up to 30 tonnes of cargo whilst stacked up to 9 high on stormy, rolling seas.
The loft deck invites easy camping as the platform bed rolls between interior and exterior.
When in use, the sub-volumes are pushed out, and its 500-square-foot interior is suitable for living and working. As we’ve shown you before, what you can do with shipping containers is unbelievable.View in galleryA perfect example in this case can be this house.
The integral strength, alongside the fact they are mass produced means they can be recycled and converted to a variety  of different uses and can provide solutions to space, storage, housing and other problems. The Studio H:T project is planned to be off-the-grid using solar orientation, passive cooling, green roofs, pellet stove heating and photovoltaics to create electricity.
I love the idea of cladding with that wonderfully durable & sustainable material bamboo. It was built out of two recycled shipping containers and it’s a lovely single living space.
Here are just 15 creative solutions of how to Re-use, Re-new and Re-cycle these incredibly versatile metal boxes.
Our largest project is conference centre, hotel, 400 student apartments and 400 luxury apartments all on a new cruise ship pier in Australia. See twelve homes that make them work and check out our resources for shipping container builders and plans at the end of the article.
The flexible residence is quite suitable for a single couple as it offers everything they need on a minimum budget.View in galleryView in galleryThe entrance to the house is through a sliding glass door placed between two blue steel containers. There are few partitions, detail possible thanks to the fact that large portions of the edges of the containers were cut off. As a result, inside you find an open and comfortable living space which includes the dining area and the kitchen with access to an outdoor terrace.{found on homeinabox}.



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