We think one of the coolest ways to re-purpose something that was meant for another thing is the use of shipping containers. We are seeing more and more of them being converted into homes, pop-up shops, even a coffee shop. It is a great way to reuse a container that can no longer be used for shipping and it also seems to be rather affordable compared to building from nothing (some containers are as little as $1000). This is a great way to have a small space to make a Micro Dwelling (see more here from Micro Dwell). However, we are seeing people get more and more creative with stacking and combining multiple containers to create large homes and spaces. The options really are endless and can accommodate a range of budgets. Here are some of our favorite uses of shipping containers that we have come across so far.
Shipping Container Guest House (Images via Homedit, design by Poteet Architects) – This is one of the first projects I saw involving shipping containers and it is also the project that made me think I have to have one! We love the use of space and the way the container was opened up by the use of windows and the sliding doors at the entrance. The addition of a small front patio helps to make the overall feel of the guest house seem larger than it actually is while also extending the living space out to the front for when the weather is nice. The interiors seem to be warm and inviting by the use of wood panels on the floor and walls. It appears that the same material that is on the floors was brought up to the walls which helps to give the illusion of a larger space. This is by far one of our favorite shipping container projects.
Colorado Shipping Container House (Images via Cabin Zoom, design by Studio H:T) – We love this design for its more modern take on the cabin, but it still has a very rustic feel to it. This is a great example of being able to use multiple shipping containers to create a larger home. This particular home is 1,517 square feet. The entire project is off the grid and uses solar orientation, passive cooling, green roofs, and a stove for heating. There is a great mix of materials inside while still keeping the shipping containers showing through. It is a great example of how you can use the container without getting too modern or industrial with the final look. It still fits perfectly into this outdoor location.
Sleeping Around Pop-Up Hotel (images via Sleeping Around) – So you love shipping containers, but maybe you don’t want to live in one all the time. Maybe you just want to spend a night or two. Enter, Sleeping Around, a Pop-Up Hotel that changes locations. This place has taken 20 foot recycled sea containers and transformed them into luxurious hotel rooms complete with box spring beds, high quality linens, walk-in rain showers, and air conditioning. There are 4 hotel rooms, a lounge container, and a sauna. It is currently located in Antwerp. We wouldn’t mind spending a night here.
Starbucks Shipping Container Stores (image via starbucks.com) – Starbucks now has stores that are built from shipping containers. The first was built in Tukwila, Washington as a drive through coffee shop. All the container shops are designed to meet LEED green building standards while still keeping the same trendy design, look and feel that you expect from Starbucks. Based on our research it appears that Starbucks not has 6 container locations in Tukwila, Washington (the first), Denver, Colorado, Portland, Oregon, Salt Lake City, Utah, Overland Park Kansas City, and Chicago. We hope this idea of the reuse and green building catches on for future Starbucks locations all over the US.
Kalkin Shipping Container Home by Adam Kalkin (images via Homedit) – This house, designed by New Jersey Architect Adam Kalkin is truly a work of art. It is unique in its design, full of great ideas, and if judged by size, you would not think this was made from a shipping container (well multiple containers). From the outside this does not look like a traditional house, but you do find the look of a traditional house on the inside. Massive windows and sliding glass doors let a lot of light into the space and connect the indoors with the outdoors. Our favorite aspect of the house is the grid of multiple containers on one wall that make up separate rooms and compartments. Again, this truly is a work of art.