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As sizeable, weather resistant and widely-available structures that are also really rather affordable, more and more architects and construction companies are considering shipping/storage containers as ways to build new homes, offices, holiday settings and more besides.

Here, we look at five of the most creative and fantastic examples of storage container architecture you’ll find anywhere in the world, giving you some inspiring ideas for your own burgeoning shipping container architecture plans.

Five incredible examples of shipping container architecture design

Carroll House in New York, USA

Carroll House in New York, USA

Image credit: dezeen

We begin our look at real-world shipping container architecture examples with an actual family home in the New York suburb of Brooklyn.

The brutalist beauty of the construction comes from the way containers have been both stacked and cut at an angle. It gives the building not only a unique shape, but also a series of rooftop terraces at its different levels.

Designed by NYC design studio LOT-EK, the interior is split across several floors and even includes a sloped floor descending into a thoughtfully put-together basement. Adorned largely in wood with splashes of colour accenting the space inside, it’s a truly fascinating example of shipping container architecture that we’d love a chance just to walk around, let alone live in!

Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus in Bristol, UK

Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus in Bristol, UK

Image credit: The Guardian

Currently being built in Bristol, Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus is an example of shipping container architecture design fashioned to offer somewhere people can laugh, learn, and lie down for a good night’s sleep. And it’s all built from a collection of shipping containers!

Designed to be by far the most sustainable site on the university’s estate, the new campus is far cheaper to build than an equivalent site made from other materials, and is intended to help the university become carbon neutral by 2030. It will serve students doing university access and vocational courses, giving students from less well-off backgrounds a chance at a better life through education.

Starburst House in California, USA

Starburst House in California, USA

Image credit: Architect Magazine

Built into a gulley fashioned from stormwater, this incredible example of shipping container architecture can be found in the middle of a 90-acre desert plot of land in Joshua Tree, surrounded by sand, rocks and mountains.

This incredible 200 metres-squared building boasts three ensuite bedrooms, plus a living room and large kitchen, in what the architect calls an ‘exoskeleton’ of shipping containers positioned to maximise both views and privacy. Ingeniously, it also includes a container car garage, which has solar panels that provide the power for the entire building, making this a truly futuristic example of storage container architecture in both form and function.

Mach 1 concept for Edinburgh Park, UK

Mach 1 designed for Edinburgh Park, UK

Image credit: Edinburgh Park

Planned in 2019 and originally scheduled to be built by 2021, the Mach 1 is the first ever building designed by British artist David Mach in association with prize-winning architects Dixon Jones. Sadly, the project was scuppered when Dixon Jones closed its doors in 2020, having been hit hard during the pandemic.

Never the less, the Mach 1 still remains a fascinating take on shipping container architecture design. It would have offered a gallery-like space, café, marketing suite and meeting place – all in a sculptural installation built from 36 disused containers, layered in seemingly haphazard fashion and presented at dramatic angles.

c-Home Concept

c-Home Concept

Image credit: LOT-EK

Our last example of innovative storage container architecture doesn’t have a location attached because, as a ready-to-build concept, it could be installed absolutely anywhere.

Made from four 40ft containers, the c-Home Country model pictured offers 1,280 square feet of living space and makes an amazing holiday home. It has built-in front and rear decking, a large modern kitchen, two 16ft x20ft bedrooms, an open-plan living area and is powered by solar heating and green roof technology, making it not just a beautiful and innovative space to be in, but also a practically low-cost and eco-friendly way to spend your days away from work.

Planning your own masterpiece of container architecture design?

As you can see from this post, shipping containers can be made to make some truly amazing and inspiring pieces of architecture. So if you’re planning something special of your own and need containers for it, get in touch – our helpful team will assist you in tracking down the right spec of boxes for your shipping container architecture plans!


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