22 Most Beautiful Houses Made from Shipping Containers

These days, life can mean a lot more that just having shelter, food and clothing. People have evolved a great deal over the past 50 years and the trend of exponential change is continuing. The differences between generations will be more significant than they are now. Random bursts of non-conformism mean that some people no longer feel represented by the masses, and feel they can’t be associated with large institutions.

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This non-conformism has a residential component: People live in increasingly diverse houses that best suit their needs. Some people buy large houses made of concrete, steel and glass to reinforce their social positions and others choose something different. Either way, it’s something that suits their needs. One crazy idea is to live in a storage container home. Yes, you heard me. Old cargo containers now serve as a part of a home or even the entire home for some people.

While shipping container homes are certainly an option, no one should rush into a decision. Let’s take a look at some wonderful structures that might help you decide if living in a shipping container home is right for you.

Shipping Container Guest House.

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One of the most interesting projects I’ve seen so far is this wonderful guest house made out from a recycled shipping container. Because of the container’s shape and nature, there isn’t a a wide range of possibilities for decorating. People always take this as a challenge and in this case,the result turned out great. The container was painted blue and two sections were cut out and replaced with windows and big sliding doors.

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The house has a small patio in front and a partial roof above it to shield the rain from splashing directly into the door. The interior features wood paneling on the walls, which provides a feeling of warmth and comfort.

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Bold combinations of colors and materials make this structure a fine place to hang out and enjoy the surrounding landscape. This unique container house was designedby Poteet Architects, which undertaken a number of  projects involving shipping containers.

Kalkin’s Shipping Container Homes.

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This creation defies the everything you thought you knew about houses. This beauty is made out of shipping containers. New Jersey architect Adam Kalkin designed and built his own house from recycled shipping containers. Among the many reasons to do that is durability, but also price: A used storage container costs under $1000.

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This house is huge and has many different levels. You could say that this is a “house in a house,” because inside the massive building are smaller individual components that look like rooms in a traditional house. In fact, the indoors aremelded with the outdoors with massive sliding glass doors and by the house-like structures built inside.

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It’s easy to get confused about this home. It’s not a traditional house for sure, but what is it?  It has bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, and a kitchen so it fulfills our modern needs, but what about aesthetics? If I really have say, I could definitely answer,“It’s unique!”

Painted Shipping Containers.

Painted Shipping Containers Decameron Marcio KoganView in gallery

Another impressive project comes from Brazilian Architect MarcioKogan. This maritime shipping container home was born from the idea of using industrial elements that can be easily assembled in a very short period of time. To deal with the special limitations imposed by the predetermined size of the containers, they stacked the containers on top of one another.

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As soon as the height limitation was solved, the architects focused their attention on width. To solve this issue, they created a space that is as high as two containers but is also wider. In that space, they were able toarrange a great living area that can extend outdoors thanks to a clever retractable system of doors. This house has all the facilities you would find in a regularhome, just in a different style and unique shell. Along with the vivid colors and green environment comes the spirit of a youthful space completewith fun and joy.

Starbucks Made From Shipping Containers.

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So far, we’ve seen shipping containers used as living spaces but here is a daring idea from a businessman who envisioned his new Starbucks building a little bit differently.  His crazy idea came from Starbuck’s extensive use of these containers to ship their coffee and tea all over the world.

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Perhaps this is just a cool strategy – maybe just wanting to associate their products with freshness. The design is unique even for a take-out fast food type of building, but maybe this particular fact is what made it possible.

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Because the new building can house only coffee machinery and a small working area for the employees, a used shipping containermade this a perfect choice. It’s cool and interesting and can be emulated by other businesses that don’t necessarily need a big indoor space. This alternative is fast, easy, less expensive, and after you’re done using it you can always recycle it for an extra few bucks.

Maison Container by Patrick Partouche.

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Now let’s take a look at a more complex project.  In 2010, French architect Patrick Partouche designed a place that imitates a traditional house even though it is built from cargo containers.  This contemporary shipping container house has approximately 2,240 square feet and cost around 221,000 euros to complete.

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As we can see, it is made from multiple containers cut into different sections either to achieve a larger interior space with great living and dining areas,or to accomodate large windows and doors. Inside, the house looks spacious and modern thanks to modern appliances and furniture. On the upper floor, amazing living solutions were implemented, united by metal stairways and bridges.

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The design allows for plenty of natural light, which makes each metal corner or junction shine, highlighting the industrial theme. What I like most about this house is that they kept the container’s doors, leaving the owners the possibility of closing them fortotal privacy.

Containers of Hope, a $40,000 Home by Benjamin Garcia Saxe.

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With just $40,00, Benjamin Garcia Saxe built a very interesting place to live in Costa Rica. This project concentrates more onits communion with nature than the actual building. The house is very chic and modern but it requiresfew materials and not much space to be functional.

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We all tend to build vast spaces that very often are left unused, but this design focuses more on what we actually do and don’t need.  Let me tell you what we really need: Sunrise and a sunset through those wonderful large windows. We need comfort and we need style. Thanks to modern furniture and quality finishings we can achieve all these within exactly 1,000 square feet.

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I would have to say that this is a place for the soul and eyes. An intimate, cozy house with the best view over the landscape is probably what many of us would want. Well, as this house demonstrates, it is possible to have just that with just two shipping containers.

Shipping Container House in El Tiemblo.

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This residential project involves four 40-foot shipping containers and although it may not look so great from the outside, the inside, I assure you, is superb. Designed by studio James & Mau Arquitectura and built by Infiniski, this container house is located in the province of Ávila, Spain and is named “Casa El Tiamblo.”

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With a cost of about 140,000 Euros, this modern example of style and comfort has all the amenities of a traditional house, with a big kitchen, a great open living room surrounded only by immense windows, comfortable bedrooms, and trendy furniture.

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The most appreciated area is probably the lower level because it features sliding doors to the patio,which creates a space where you can relax and feel the fresh air that circulates, ventilating the home.  Furniture makes this interior look no different than a traditional one and perhaps that is why feels so cozy inside, and modern and stylish, compared to the raw industrial exterior.

First Shipping Container House in Mojave Desert by Ecotech Design.

If so far we’ve seen homes constructed in a less practiced manner, this model by Ecotech Design brings the shipping container container house to another level. Located in the Mojave Desert, the one bedroom, one-and-a-half bathroom home has 2,300 square feet and is made from six containers.

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The design speaks for itself, perfect for those who are interested in more than just shelter. This unique construction features a modern interior with an open concept floor plan, plenty of natural light and an exterior that combines shady places with a wide-open yard.  I have to admit that if no onetold me that this home is made from containers, I would never have guessed. It looks like a modern home builtwith a certain eco spirit.

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This amazing structure combines high-energy efficiency and mass-production modular structures, making it a low-cost, sustainable housing system. If we take a look at current trends, I would predict that soon we’ll be seeing more and more of these structures all over the world.

Five Shipping Containers Into a Cozy Modern Home.

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In this project we can see two different elements that you would never expect to work hand in hand:Open space and shipping containers.  This incredible house shocks through its brightness, layout and amenities. Made from only five shipping containers this house boasts a total 2,600 square feet of comfortable living space.Even more, it has cutting edge features such as a green roof, geothermal heating and high-tech foam insulation to preserve an optimal living environment.

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This entire home has a playful air and must have been a fun project to design and build, but it is certainly not a joke. This is a real,regular home for a happy, functional family. The cold metal industrial style has been dramatically softenedwith bright, vivid colors and modern furniture. I love how this project turned out given the materials used to build it. Wonderful design and a great living space!

Shipping Container Conversion by building Lab Inc.

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Designer Stephen Schouptook advantage of shipping containers when it came time to build a space for his expanding company. Environmental and sustainability concerns convinced him to opt for an unusual way to create the additional work area. After much deliberation, he decided on an L- shaped shipping container office by Lab inc.

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The great thing about this structure is that it allowed Schoup to incorporate leftover materials and supplies he had laying around the courtyard.  The result balances industrial style and a warehouse appearance with the great open space around the structure. The interior design maximizes the potential of the space and is perfect for an office area. The well equipped space includes everything that employees might need as well as a small meeting area.  This office refelcts the residential theme appropriate for the area even though it is constructed in a non-traditional way.

Eco-Friendly Crossbox House by CG Architectes.

Eco-Friendly Crossbox House by CG ArchitectesView in gallery

Here’s proof that the container house phenomenon is spreading world wide and that each project reflects the region’s and architect’s design preferences: In France Clément Gillet Architects built an eco-friendly prefabricated single family home. The main ingredient in this successful recipe was some old shipping containers.

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The home has approximately 1,120 square feet and it’s a prototype for a modular industrial house constructed from four containers. The main aim behind this project is to build low-cost architect’s houseswhile focusing on the environment. The home’s great success is due to its very simple design, with a living area on the ground floor and three bedrooms on the upper floor.

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The entrance, which is between the two sections, is also used as a carport. The interior is well finished with bright colors and furniture that creates the impression of vast space and the wooden accents warm the entire house, making it a great place to live.

Week house from shipping containers.

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The traditional real estate market is known for constantly rising prices, which is exactly what pushes people to seek alternatives.  Jure Kotonik has an answer to that issue: He designed a two-story, 300 square foot container house that brings massive benefits to its owners. It has a very low end costcompared to traditional housing, is assembled in a matter of days and, most of all, is easy to move.

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This is better described as a mini-housing solution offering only the basic necessities for living. Itcould be a great stylish temporary solution if you’re planning to invest a more considerable amount of money in your dream house. The pink-dotted façade illustrates its versatility and the opportunity for expressing yourself so others can see your true spirit. The interior can be furnished stylishly but in a very minimalist manner and the upper floor is accessible through an adjustable staircase.

Alterra Beach Resort Uses Shipping Containers For Private Glamping Cabins.

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Most of the people who are really into the whole container housing thing tend to build and design structures for their personal use. Architect ClorindoTesta thought about using shipping containers for othersto use. AlterraGlamping is a natural resort near Pinamar Beach in Argentina that wonderfully combines the art of outdoor relaxation and sustainability by using old shipping containers as private cabins.

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The minimalist look of the containers focuses attention on the paradise outside. The resort was originally an art gallery,so transforming it into a hotel involved changing some of the spaces and addingmore cabins. It is important to know that no treeswere harmed during construction and the main house still functions as a gallery. So, you can look at this location as a place for the body as well as the soul,with prices starting around $US1,100 per week. Think of it as a very cool camping site with the best amenities for a truly relaxing experience.

Jean Nouvel’s Shipping Container Restaurant.

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Another interesting project was created by French architect Jean Nouvel.  He imagined LES GRANDE TABLES as a large timber frame structure wrapped in glass, and as we can see, it turned pretty good actually. His 1,000 square foot restaurant is made from recycled cargo containers with bare bones scaffolding around it for a true minimalist industrial look. It accommodates more than 120 people and is also used for parties, weddings and cultural meetings.

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While part of a larger project,this structure is the main attraction because the restaurant serves French cuisine prepared by the renowned chef Arnaud Daguin,using locally grown herbs and vegetables. When night falls the place livens up, attracting people who live a certain lifestyle. The French are well known for their sophistication and revolutionary thinking which makes them leaders in design trends and tastes.Looking at this structure, we can very easily see why.

London’s first Pop-Up Shipping Container Mall Opens in Shoreditch.

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Commercial spaces come in different shapes and designs to attract as many clients as possible through an appealing design. Boxpark Shoreditch is London’s first pop-up  shopping mall made completely from shipping containers. This crazy mini shopping center is convenient, pedestrian-friendly and packed with some of the most popular stores.

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The design makes maximum use of the compact space in contrast totraditional shopping malls with huge parking lots and endless pathways.  The entire mall is made from 61 containers and 41 of them are situated in the ground section in a simple rectangular footprint.

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The ingenious idea come straight out of a purely economic principle. Small brands find it almost impossible to rent a big space in a fancy shopping center which limits their ability to reach to the general public with their products. This Box Park alleviated that issue and almost any entrepreneur can afford to rent one of the commercial spaces.

25Hours HafenCity Hotel.

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Let’s switch it up a little bit from French sophistication and move a little north to Germany.Here, Stephen Williams Associates designed a very interesting eclectic hotel inspired by sailing and shipping. Using nautical décor in the shipping containers such ropes, rotors and other elements they created the impression of a raw, industrial shipping warehouse. 25Hours HafenCity Hotel has each room decorated to look like a cabin from a ship.

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The rooftop is also made from a container and it houses the “Hafen Sauna,” with panoramic views over the entire harbor.  The lobby is the most interesting area, featuring a variety of seating and lounging options, as well as the hotel’s restaurant,which serves local dishes made with local ingredients. This unique project wouldn’t be possible without the containers donated by Hamburg’s own Hapag-Lloyd, along with other scrap materials from around the shipyard.

Another mall project made from shipping containers.

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A shipping container-based mall project was also opened in New Zealand, but it is on a whole other scale and with a different philosophy. After being devastated by an earthquake,the Christchurch area was rebuilt. This brightly colored shopping facility houses 27 stores and is meant to bring a certain normalcy to the area, but it is still not enough.

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The benefit of using cargo containers is that it makes people feel safe. I can’t imagine how all those people, shaken by nature’s rage, can venture out again in a town center with tall buildings, some still standing and somehaving beendestroyed. This meaningful project is more than a shopping facility — it is an element of safety for those residents.

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The project’s structure is not one of equally compartmented spaces, so some businesses benefit from larger space than others. The New Zealand mall’s design is also disputed by the developers of the Boxpark Mall we’ve shown above,which claimsintellectual property theft and is pursuing legal action.

Spacious Prefab House From a Shipping Container.

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I strongly believe that this, by far, is the greatest project ever that involves shipping containers. It is called the WIngHouse and guess what? It unfolds as a spacious house from a single cargo container. The principle is relatively simple: Pack everything into a container so that it will be easy to transport anywhere.Set it on the ground and then the walls of the container unit rise up like wings with a built in crane to create a large butterfly roof. Inside, panels are inserted to create doors and windows.

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The result is amazing:  A quite large interior space that can be finished in multiple ways because there are no internal supports in the way. Thanks to this feature, this astounding home can accommodate three bedrooms just like a standard home, or it can be transformed into aneight-bedroom dorm, an office, or just about anything you would like. TheWingHouse revolutionizes not just the concept of home but also that of moving your home.

New Zealand on Screen Uses Recycled Shipping Containers & Caravans to Show Off Kiwi Films.

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A project called New Zealand on Screen features TV and music videos right on cargo containers. The Kiwi Films organization wanted something original to engage visitors using hi-tech facilities and gadgets, so they equipped some containers and transformed them into interactive media rooms.

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Inside,people can enjoy and experience a state-of-the-art interactive video wall and a lot of other cool applications. The owners opted for a vintage décor to go hand in hand with classic films and bring back a certain nostalgia.  The idea behind this project was t  combine the offline and online environments to give the media content more currency without having to build a museum or a movie theatre. Now it is easy to understand why they chose shipping containers. From the outside, the facility looks casual, like a stationary truck painted colorfully.

Shipping container architecture.

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This is also a grand design project created from shipping containers.  This single family house, designed by Jason Welty,  isa perfect example of industrial elegancy. Although the metal frame was not covered but only painted white, the overall feel is of refinement. The interior is compartmentalized in two floors. On the lower level, we find a big open living area furnished simply with plenty of natural light coming from multiple large windows. Upstairs, there are the bedrooms, also furnished in the same style.

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Focusing on sustainability, this house has solar panels on the roof and several wind turbines. The exterior color attempts to blend the building into the natural décor. The lot is located in very beautiful area with aa spacious grass backyard and a pond. Suddenly, cargo container homes look stylish and environmentally friendly. I would love to see more and more of these buildings rising up in the near future.

Container summer residence.

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In this particular project, we see how a common shipping container is transformed into a summer residence, perfect for nature lovers.  Similar to those who go camping in the summertime, some people decide to build their own summer residence. All they need is a good cleaning to removeany rust and some paint, and the containers are ready to accommodate you in a quite rustic way.It’s summertime, however,so you only need basic shelter to protect you from rain, wind and wildlife.

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These two containers have a small shaded area created with a simple cane roof, which is perfect for eating, working, or relaxing while you enjoythe fresh air without the sun burning your skin. A big issue with steel containers is insulation, and in this particular environment, with almost 300 days of sunshine per year, heat is a serious problem. A new product has been developed to reflect the sun heat and act as a insulator, called SUPERTHERM which is a very effective ceramic paint, with remarkable effects.

Yuka Yoneda Tommy Hilfiger’s Berlin Shipping Container.

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This project built by Artdepartment-Berlin was presented at the Bread&Butterfashio  trade show.  The Tommy Hilfiger brand was represented by a contemporary structure made up entirely from recycled cargo containersthat were stacked in various shapes and covered in eye-catching graphics.

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This dynamic environment reflects the energy of the Hilfiger aesthetics, while at the same time  using eco-friendly materials both inside and out. To paint a mental picture about how fast these  structures can be assembled and functional, I have to mention that the containers only required one  day to be arranged, three days for rough construction (cutting, welding, mounting stairs, lights etc.) and  another three days to finish the interior. Imagine that in this amount of time, you can already  living in a house constructed by the same principle. Imagine that in just one or two weeks you can have  dinner in your own place to call home.

Living in shipping containers initially started as a fun challenge but now it has become a worldwide movement with more and more people seeking an unusual refuge. Shipping container homes offer them a solution. Could you see yourself living in one?