Shipping container homes and structures are increasingly becoming a thing in our generation thanks to the strength, durability, affordability and sustainability of the recyclable materials. They are almost readily available around the world and even cheaper near the ports. As people continue to venture into this new way of building, I look at some of the projects that have utilized shipping containers so far to create functional and comfortable spaces around the world.
1. Grillagh Water House by Patrick Bradley
The Grillagh Water House is a shipping container home designed and owned by Architect Patrick Bradley. Located in Northern Ireland near the town of Maghera, this home’s design was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s The Falling Water. It stands as a sculpture deep in the farming lands while still managing to complement and blend well into the site.
One of the most interesting features of this shipping container home is the upper level that cantilevers over the lower level as it extends towards its end with a balcony surrounded by steel fins to sunshade the interior. The upper level accommodates an open lounge with breathtaking views beyond the landscape while the lower level has more intimate and private spaces including a bathroom, boot room and bedroom with a sliding door.
2. Puma City by LOT-EK
Using 24 shipping containers, the architects designed the first truly mobile container building of its scale for Puma. It’s a stack of three levels of containers which have since been shipped to various destinations internationally. Two full retail spaces cover the lower levels, while the second level houses offices, press are and storage. A bar, lounge and event space with a large terrace occupy the top level.
The building has been designed as an assembly of independent containers which are disassembled and encased in panels to prevent windows from shuttering during shipping. When they arrive at their destination they are assembled back to make this 1,100 square metre building.
3. Shipping Container Terminal by Potash Architects
This structure located 40 kilometers south of Tel Aviv in Israel provides building offices, technical facilities and an events space at the Port of Ashdod – one of Israel’s largest cargo ports. Project architect, Sivan Joseph, explained that inspiration was drawn from how containers were stacked in the cargo port and the architects wanted to extend the narrative with a little bit of playfulness to differentiate the project from the surroundings while managing to accentuate the recreational function of the building.
The playful approach taken in this project was to angle one of the containers at 30 degrees and slot a staircase inside for circulation to the upper levels. 4 containers make up the lower levels while 2 more on the upper level accommodate more offices above.
4. OceanScope by AnL Studio
Korean firm AnL Studio designed and completed the construction of an observatory deck located in Songdo New City, Incheon, South Korea. The structure which was an initiative of the Mayor of Incheon City utilizes three containers inched at angles of 10, 30 and 50 degrees to create an observatory where visitors go to watch the sunset over one of the largest harbours in Korea.
The Mayor’s initiative looked to find unused containers that would later be used to create public spaces across the city. The nature of the ground level being too low inspired the leaning of the containers at the three angles, visitors can then ascend the stairs inside each container to go up and watch the sunset at higher and numerous viewpoints.