What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of shipping containers? You probably picture them on the back of trains, lorries or ships, carrying goods across the land and sea – because that is where they are most commonly seen.
But, did you know that shipping containers have been repurposed and transformed in ways you could never have imagined? The benefit of these containers is that they are strong and sturdy, having been created to withstand shipment, storage and handling and are a more affordable option than the alternative.
So, here are 10 shipping containers as you have never seen them before.
The bright orange colour of this container and the instantly recognisable logo ensures that there is no mistaking who this shipping container belongs to.
Pop up shops are growing in popularity – as people start to take their products to festivals and other events – because it is easy to organise the inside, close the doors, transport it and then, when you get to the site, you simply open it up and are good to go.
They can be decorated however you wish, and located wherever you need them.
In 2012 Sir Ranulph Fiennes set off on an expedition – ‘The Coldest Journey’ – which was the first ever attempt to cross the Antarctic continent during the polar winter.
The team had to be self-sufficient as they crossed the 2,000 miles in temperatures as low as -90 degrees and so they took shipping containers, which would become their home for the duration.
Two 30ft containers were built on sledges and provided protection from the elements, while another was used as a science lab to gather information as they went.
Shipping containers have been used many times as a low cost way to build durable and unique homes. Now, they have also been used as a comfortable and safe place for the homeless people of Bristol to find shelter.
The container comes with a bed, electricity, an en-suite shower, a toilet and a small kitchen – with arty images of the city providing the finishing touches.
The plan is to expand the project to several sites across Bristol and to install solar panels to provide the electricity.
Badeschiff, which translates from German as “bathing ship,” is a swimming pool located in the River Spree in Berlin.
This pool, which allows locals to feel like they are swimming in the river –without ever actually touching the polluted water – is a submerged shipping container. It is 2.05m deep and is located next to a beach area that has become a popular spot for events.
These are becoming increasingly popular for creating swimming pools – they simply need to be painted with anti-corrosive paint and lined with insulation and they are ready to be used.
This Clinic in a Can is designed and built to serve patients in remote or isolated environments – in areas where traditional hospitals aren’t possible.
By using shipping containers, they can easily move them to where they are most needed and provide an instant medical centre where there isn’t already one.
They can already been found in the likes of Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Kenya, South Sudan and the Philippines – and are often used for disaster relief or as isolation wards.
The Del Popolo, is a mobile pizzeria, located in and around San Francisco. Mouthwatering Neapolitan-inspired pizza is served out of a glass enclosed 20ft shipping container that has been repurposed into a kitchen on the back of a Freightliner truck.
The truck features a traditional, Italian-made wood-fired oven and serves lunch to the public as well as hosting private events at night and on the weekends.
This primary school, located in Cape Town, South Africa is a rural school attended by children of farm workers and underprivileged families. The 12m container was used to create an independent classroom for children aged between five and six years old.
With limited means and budget, the container provides a learning, gathering, play and growing area. The project won a silver medal at the Loerie Awards under the architecture category in 2013.
30 recycled shipping containers were used to create a stylish new office building for Bristol & Avon Group located at Severn Road, Hallen in Bristol.
The building compromises of three floors and was designed and built by Container City, who have also worked on a range of other interesting projects based around shipping containers – including performance spaces and broadcasting studios – as well as the Antarctic accommodation mentioned above.
Situated outside the runway at Manchester airport is The Hangar Bar – where you can have a snack before your flight or enjoy a drink while admiring the places as they take off.
This bar, located within a shipping container, is 40ft long and 10ft wide and is fitted with a fully functioning kitchen as well as a bar. Sit outside on the benches and enjoy the sunshine in the summer, or take advantage of the comfort provided inside during the winter – you will forget you are in a shipping container and not a country pub.
A shipping container wouldn’t be the first thing you would consider as a greenhouse – they aren’t even made of glass. But they are actually providing farmers with a new way of growing crops without having to worry about the weather, pests, heating prices or water.
These containers use 90% less water and 80% less fertilizer than conventional methods and can be used to grow everything from lettuce to strawberries. They also save space, as they vertically stack crops.
These containers, of course, need some adjustments; you can’t just start using them as they are. But it isn’t difficult and it won’t take too long to turn it into whatever you need it for. It can be converted to your specific requirements, so if you are planning to use it as a pop up shop, for example, you may require full access on the long side rather than at the ends. Similarly, frames can be attached to the sides and the ceiling for hanging clothes.
It’s incredible what you can do with such a small space, isn’t it? Of course, you might not need space to create accommodation, classrooms or a bar – you might just need somewhere that you can use as extra storage for those belongings that are taking up space in your home or office. We have various sizes and much like the shipping containers, you can fit far more in there than you might first think.