Twelve Structures Showcasing the Diversity of Architecture Using Shipping Containers

July 3, 2023

Twelve Structures Showcasing the Diversity of Architecture Using Shipping Containers

Following the reveal of a stadium in Qatar constructed from 974 containers, we’ve compiled a list of 12 distinct projects that showcase the versatility of shipping-container architecture, including works by BIG and Kengo Kuma.

Shipping containers, steel boxes originally designed for global cargo transport, have been embraced by architects over the past decade due to their modular design.

These containers have been creatively repurposed to construct a broad spectrum of structures, ranging from housing estates, hotels, and Starbucks coffee shops to university porters’ lodges, parking attendant kiosks, and residential homes.

Here are 12 projects that represent the diversity of shipping-container architecture:

Urban Rigger, Denmark, by BIG

BIG assembles shipping containers to construct floating student accommodation in Copenhagen harbour

The Danish architecture studio BIG arranged nine shipping containers in a ring on a floating platform in Copenhagen harbour, forming a unique floating student accommodation.

Dubbed Urban Rigger, this building comprises 15 studio flats distributed over two floors around a central communal garden.

Stadium 974, Qatar, by Fenwick Iribarren Architects

Fenwick Iribarren Architects incorporated 974 shipping containers into the design of this stadium built for the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The aptly named Stadium 974, with its capacity for 40,000 spectators, is set to be the first fully demountable stadium to host a World Cup match, claim the architects.

Wye River holiday residence, Australia, by Studio Edwards

Melbourne architectural firm Studio Edwards utilised a set of three shipping containers placed on stilts as the framework for this holiday home situated on a hillside with views over Australia’s Otway Coast.

The exterior of the building is sheathed in sheets of galvanised steel, with the living room housed in two containers, and two bedrooms, a toilet, and shower in the third one.

Parking attendant tower, USA, by Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design

Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design (JBAD) installed a striking red shipping container vertically to create a kiosk for a parking attendant in Columbus, Ohio.

This 12-metre-tall structure was also designed to serve as a landmark for a previously overlooked segment of the city’s downtown area.

Carroll House, USA, by LOT-EK

LOT-EK named this family home in Brooklyn Carroll House, which was created by stacking shipping containers that were cut at an angle, forming a unique shape with a series of terraces at the rear.

Hughes Hall porters’ lodge, UK, by Neubau

Local firm Neubau transformed a single shipping container into a porters’ lodge and reception at the entrance to Hughes Hall college at Cambridge University.

The compact building serves as a reception for visitors, an office for porters, and houses pigeonholes for students.

Starbucks, Taiwan, by Kengo Kuma

In Taiwan, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma used 29 shipping containers to construct a unique Starbucks coffee shop.

Cool Cool Seaside, Taiwan, by Atelier Let

Also in Taiwan, architectural firm Atelier Let constructed a pavilion from shipping containers to provide shelter for players and spectators at two basketball courts near the docks of Kaohsiung City.

Stow-Away Hotel, UK, by Doone Silver Kerr

The Stow-Away Hotel in Waterloo, London, was constructed using 25 nine-metre-long containers, stacked to form a five-storey building with a geometric facade.

Diptych, Belgium, by TOOP Architectuur

Belgian practice TOOP Architectuur repurposed shipping containers to create a pair of mobile studios for its staff, cladding them in mirrors.

Squirrel Park, USA, by AHMM

The architecture studio Allford Hall Monaghan Morris used converted shipping containers to create the four houses in the Squirrel Park development in Oklahoma City.

Each of these homes was assembled from four shipping containers, stacked two high atop pile footings.

The Hilda L Solis Care First Village, USA, by NAC Architecture and Bernards

American studios NAC Architecture and Bernards used shipping containers to construct the framework of this apartment block, designed to house people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.

In total, the development houses 232 living units, along with a communal building that features a kitchen, dining area, laundry facilities, and administrative spaces.

Amagansett Modular, USA, by MB Architecture

American studio MB Architecture arranged shipping containers to construct this sleek black holiday home in Amagansett, New York, in a matter of days.

Known as Amagansett Modular, this 1,800-square-foot (167-square-metre) weekend retreat is situated on a small wooded site in the hamlet on Long Island’s south shore.