15 Awesome Buildings Made From Recycled Shipping Containers

Fancy seeing some interesting, in some cases, quite beautiful buildings built with containers? The following range from small houses to large student blocks from all over the globe.

This list is in no particular order and far from exhaustive.

1. Keetwonen, Amsterdam

Built in 2005, Keetwonen is the largest complex of buildings built from containers in the world. It is made up of 1,034 containers and was meant to provide temporary student accommodation.

Its life expectancy was pushed back to 2016 a few years ago, but it should not be a surprise to see it around for a while yet.

2. Boucher Grygier House, California

Boucher Grygier House in California is a three-bedroom, 251 square-meter homemade from 3 recycled refrigerated shipping containers. Two are used for the kitchen and master bedroom with the other cut in half and stacked to provide two other bedrooms.

3. Freitag Shop, Zurich

Freitag Shop in Zurich is the world's tallest buildings built with containers at 26 meters high. It was built by The Freitag Messenger Bag Company and was built using 17 used shipping containers.

The first four floors are used for store display with the others used for storage and for access for visitors to reach the viewing platform at the top. Nice.

4. 2+ Weekend House, Slovenia

Slovenian architectural firm Jure Kotnik Arhitekt has a penchant for buildings built with containers it seems. A prime example is their 2+ Weekend House design that uses containers to provide housing. Each unit is pre-fabricated, so doesn't use recycled ones, but comes fully wired and plumbed.

Installation is, therefore, very quick indeed.

5. Redondo Beach House, California

Built from 8 shipping containers, Redondo Beach House is a two story, 278 square-meter home in California. The house overlooks the Pacific Ocean from a $1 million beachfront location. It has four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a pool that is also made from a shipping container.

6. Port-A-Bach, New Zealand

Atelierworkshop is a New Zealand company who specializes in providing affordable holiday homes. Their Port-A-Bach shipping container product is designed to be self-contained, has fold-out walls, and is easily transportable. They can be easily inhabited without electricity and plumbing hookups at the destination.

7. Manifesto House, Chile

Built from 85 percent recycled materials, Manifesto House in Chile, you'd be forgiven for thinking this was not made from shipping containers. The 158 square-meter home is actually made of three shipping containers, wood pallets and cellulose from unread newspapers used for insulation.

It cost around $120,000 to build and was finished in less than 90 days.

8. Caterpillar House, Chile

Architect Sebastián Irarrázaval decided to use 11 shipping container to build a 371 square-meter home in Santiago, Chile. Dubbed the Caterpillar House, named after the container "legs" that stick out from the side, it is situated in the Andes Mountains.

Some of the containers are rested on the slope and blended into the mountain and act as means of access to the building.

9. Container City, London

Built by Trinity Bouy Wharf on the River Thames, Container City is one of the world's most famous buildings built using containers. It is also, in our opinion, a pretty attractive building, or buildings. The Container City apartments are very popular with artists who can rent one for around £250 ($330) a month.

Prime location units can go for as much as £1,500 ($1990) a month, however.

10. Cubica Container House, Costa Rica

The phrase 'size doesn't matter' could not be more fitting for this shipping container house. It is quite possibly one of the most beautiful interior designs we have ever seen. Seeing the images for this container house beggars belief that it is actually constructed from a shipping container. Follow this link to see it in its full glory.

11. Mill Junction Silos, Johannesburg

Property developers Citiq have converted unused grain silo's in Johannesburg to provide affordable student accommodation. Not only that, but they plonked some shipping containers on top and side to provide additional accommodation spaces.

The entire structure provides 375 individual apartments over 11 stories and has become a colorful and interesting addition to the city' skyline.

12. Audi Scoreboard, Brooklyn

Audi decided to build a scoreboard for the 2014 football world cup. The structure was comprised of 28 A8 Audi Models and 45 shipping containers. The scoreboard digital cluster provides a 12-meter digital display that is made entirely from LED headlights on the model cars.

The display was visible from miles around and provided match results throughout the sporting event.

13. Hive-inn

The Hive-Inn is an interesting conceptual hotel structure designed by Hong Kong-based company OVA Studio. The structure is designed to allow containers to travel in and out of it. The idea is to provide maximum flexibility and mobility with possible applications for emergency housing or medical care units.

14. Trump Tower, Istanbul

GAD Architecture created a "miniature master plan" using modular shipping containers and terraces on top of the Trump Tower in Istanbul. The structure is organized over two levels with a series of paths of different sizes cut through the structure.

The building houses 25 carefully chosen commercial units and gardens supposedly representative of a modern day Turkish bazaar.

15. Old Lady House, New Jersey

The Old Lady House far from being a quaint little cottage for granny is in actuality a masterpiece in modern design. Built from nine shipping containers this house designed by Adam Kalkin is truly awe-inspiring. The entire structure has a suitably industrial design including concrete floors, sliding doors and a plethora of steel.

The final product, we think you'll agree, is actually quite beautiful.


So there you go. 15 fantastic buildings built with containers. As you can imagine this is but a sample of similar constructions out there. We'd be happy to hear your suggestions in the comments below.