With the rising calls for adopting sustainability and eco-friendly design, the reuse of up-cycled shipping containers as building units has been trending recently. The shipping containers are used to store and transfer cargo from one point to another, domestically or overseas. So, what happens to all those stacked cargo containers, at the ports, after they have been emptied? Some of these containers are suitable for one-time-use, meaning they cannot be reused for shipping again. Also, transporting empty containers back to where they came from would cost loads for nothing. So, it might be better to keep them and reuse them, if not for shipping, then for a living, and that is how Shipping Container Architecture came to be.

Many people are investing in cargo containers, now, to build their own houses for cheap. The scale has grown to cover apartment buildings and dormitories. The containers come in fixed width but optional lengths. They can be customized to the needs of their owners by cutting them or removing one or two of their side wall. They can, also, be treated, sealed, and insulated to provide a comfortable ambiance for the indoor. As for the aesthetics, they can be painted or clad in many ways and look quite attractive. So, it seems that reusing shipping containers makes for a much faster and relatively cheaper construction process, with minimal waste of materials. Now, here is a list of 8 interesting projects which were constructed entirely or partly from shipping containers. Check these Various Applications of Shipping Container Architecture and get inspired.

1.Bayside Marina Hotel – Yokohama, Japan

The unconventional hotel by Yasutaka Yoshimura architects comprises randomly placed cottages built from shipping containers. Each cottage is composed of two vertically stacked containers and enjoys a unique view of Tokyo Bay.

2.PV14 House – Texas, USA

The 344-meter-square house was designed by M Gooden design. The house features modern interior and exterior, with overhanging terraces which have an optimized view of White Rock Lake. Its structure system incorporates an exposed steel structure, glass, masonry, and 14 shipping containers.

3.Cité A Docks – Le Havre, France

The student housing project, constructed entirely from shipping containers, was designed by Cattani Architects. The 4-storey building contains 100 apartments. Each has an area of 24m2, including a bathroom and a kitchen.

4.Wahaca Restaurant – London, England

Wahaca Mexican restaurant in London’s Southbank is designed by Softroom architects. It is built using eight shipping container, painted in a shade of cyan and decorated with Latin-themed murals by street artists. Due to the limited height of the containers, the architects could fit the two-floor restaurant in a single-floor space.

5.Dunraven School Sports Hall – London, England

The 1,225-square-meter sports hall was designed and built in 3 months and installed in 3 days. The SCABAL-designed hall has three walls built from upcycled shipping containers, stacked on top of each other to give a full height gym, while the fourth wall is built from translucent polycarbonate. The hall houses four courts, a viewing gallery, changing rooms, and offices.

6.Box Office – Rohde Island, USA

The office building, designed by Distill Studio, is built from 32 shipping containers and includes 12 offices and cantilevered conference rooms. The areas of the offices range between, approximately, 60m2 and 240m2. The building features a colorful upbeat exterior, in addition to high-performance insulation and energy-efficient climate control.

7.Ogura Asahi Kindergarten – Saitama, Japan

This kindergarten, in Saitama, was renovated by HIBINOSEKKEI + Youji no Shiro using stacked shipping containers which surround a central courtyard. All the classrooms open to a shaded outdoor terrace which leads to the courtyard. The building, also, contains a 364-meter-square multipurpose hall and offices on the upper floor.

8.Common Ground – Seoul, South Korea

Common Ground is the world’s largest shopping mall made entirely from shipping containers. The 3-storey structure was designed by local firm Urbantainer, and it comprises 200 large modular containers, painted in bright blue. It has a total area of 5,300m2 which includes 70 stores, 20 restaurants, and a rooftop terrace.

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