Once a shipping container has had its day transporting cargo, there are a huge number of creative, innovative and often surprising ways they can be recycled and given a brand new lease of life.
Container architecture is ever-increasing in popularity thanks to the availability, durability and modular flexibility of shipping containers. Here are just a few ideas to give you some inspiration for a low-cost, environmentally friendly building solution…
Pop-up restaurants, bars and cafés
A recycled shipping container is a stylish, affordable and eco-friendly way for entrepreneurs to start a pop-up café, bar or restaurant that enables the owner to test different locations and enjoy lower initial investment in those early days.
Containers can be completely customised to fit the individual style, branding and corporate identity of a company looking for a unique, attractive exhibition space. Roof terraces, staircases, large windows and funky lighting can transform a humble container into a stunning exhibition venue.
A great alternative use for smaller shipping containers is as a self-sufficient, affordable home sauna. Rooftop solar panels can be installed to generate small amounts of energy to play music and provide atmospheric lighting, while a built-in wood burning stove can supply the heat.
Offices and workshops
Possibly one of the most popular uses for shipping containers, the design possibilities for firms wanting to create flexible, stylish and quirky office and workshop space are never-ending.
Architects and engineers have designed some incredible sustainable and adaptable living spaces using modular design and taking full advantage of combining traditional building materials with the linear style of shipping containers.
Producers frequently seek quirky spaces to put on stand-out shows. Adapted shipping containers can provide a brilliant solution as they can be craned into place and modified to create a memorable theatrical experience for an audience.
Recycled shipping containers can be transformed into both portable and permanent hotel rooms and entire hotels that are sophisticated and super-stylish.
Shipping containers are a blank canvas for an art gallery. They can be easily connected to create stunning modular galleries that can be decorated both internally and externally; effectively becoming a piece of art in itself.
Increasingly known as a ‘farm in a box’, using a recycled shipping container to create an indoor garden can be a space-saving way to grow plants, herbs, fruits and vegetables using grow lights, planting racks and heating and ventilation systems to re-engineer a natural growing environment.
Swimming pools and hot tubs
Shipping containers can easily be modified to create a sleek swimming pool or hot tub that can be placed either above ground on a shallow gravel or concrete bed, or beneath the ground. With lower running costs than traditional swimming pool, no need to seek planning permission and plenty of design options, shipping container pools can be a fantastic, fun alternative.