New Uses for Shipping Containers in a Postmodern World

– By Lauga Oskarsdottir, MTS Logistics

There are over seventeen million shipping containers in the world. Have you ever wondered where they go when their time is up? There are several amazing ways one can utilize these steel structures at the end of their voyaging life. The abundance and relative cheapness (some sell for as little as $900) of containers during the last decade has made them attractive to architects, artists and designers worldwide.

1. Build a house

shipping container house
This shipping container house was constructed in San Antonio for use as a summer house, entertainment and guest quarters in an artist community. The owner selected this container specifically for its stunning blue color. By Poteet Architects
container houses apartment
Why stop at one house, why not build a whole Container City? London did it! Container City homes are especially popular with artists who can rent a container home for as little as £250 a month (though the containers in the prime locations and with the best windows go for as much as £1,500). By Container City Homes
amsterdam student housing shipping containers
Shipping containers built into 1000 units in Amsterdam, offering students an affordable alternative in a tough real estate market. If this was created in New York City, students would be lining up to rent a "box". By TempoHousing
clive wilkinson shipping container architecture
What is more appropiate as an office space for a logistics company than a container office..? It's something to think about. By Clive Wilkinson Architects
shipping container executive office warehouse
Simple and efficient. By Clive Wilkinson Architects
2. Swimming pool
berlin pool shipping container spree
This out of the ordinary swimming pool is called The Badeschiff, created from old cargo containers and is floating on the river Spree in Berlin.
3. Portable business
coffee shop shipping container
This little coffee shop brings a whole new meaning to coffee on the go!
shipping container bar restaurant
Container Bar/Restaurant
shipping container exhibit joost bakker
This is a traveling eco-exhibit and restaurant conceived by artist Joost Bakker, and it aims to be as environmentally friendly as possible, made from shipping containers and straw bales. It even grows some of its own food on the rooftop. This restaurant stays true to the spirit of it's containers by traveling from city to city all around the world.

 4. Playgrounds

container treehouse stuttgart
This Container Treehouse creation is still in the works in Stuttgart, Germany.
childrens activity center shipping containers phooey architects architecture
Children's Activity Center, Phooey Architects Australia

5. Observatory for a Panoramic View

minsoo lee containerscope korea
Korean designers Keehyun Ahn & Minsoo Lee have designed a public observatory out of recycled shipping containers.

Lauga is originally from Iceland, and is a Sales and Marketing Executive for MTS Logistics. Lauga has experience as a Sales Manager for a large fitness corporation in Oslo, Norway before she moved to New York in 2009 to pursue a Business Management degree at Berkeley.