Shipping container houses
innovative shipping container building ideas

Inspiring shipping container homes

Projects that push the boundaries of building with freight containers

By Hugh Metcalf |

Shipping container houses are not-only budget friendly, they can deliver spectacular results. First released in 2010, Container Atlas, published by Gestalten, has been the seminal literature examining the repurposing of freight containers as a building material for the past decade.

For its 2020 update, the book, edited by Hans Slawik, Julia Bergmann, Matthias Buchmeier and Sonja Tinney, features 28 new projects all built in the last 10 years that have continued to push the boundaries of building with shipping boxes.

From acting as prefab structures for small footprint homes to creative concepts that elevate these simple rectangles to bold, new architectural heights, take a look at some of the newest and most innovative builds.

Joshua Tree, Whitaker Studio

Inspired by the growth of crystals in a laboratory, the Mojave Desert in California is the perfect location to bring this conceptual build to life. Made from 19 shipping containers welded together, each spoke has been carefully situated to suit the internal use to the exterior landscape. The property is due for completion in 2020.

Whitaker Studio shipping container design from Container Atlas, gestalten

Photo: Whitaker Studio. From Container Atlas, Gestalten, 2020

Pachacutec House, TRS Studio

This housing concept (below), created by TRS Studio, uses shipping containers as a base of the structure, with a polycarbonate plastic roof that floods the home with light. The idea behind these structures is to offer an alternative for Peruvian communities that struggle with shortage in housing supply and sourcing building materials.

TRS Studio, 3D rendering by Bineural3D. From Container Atlas, gestalten, 2020

TRS Studio, 3D rendering by Bineural3D. From Container Atlas, Gestalten, 2020

Caroll House, LOT-EK

New York and Naples practice LOT-EK repurposed 21 freight containers to create the diagonal volume of this striking home located on a typical Brooklyn street. Each containers has been cut along the top and bottom, and 3 of the levels have private outdoor spaces at the rear of the home, shielded from the street below by its corrugated walls.

Multi storey new york house made from shipping containers - self build - grand designs

Photo: LOT-EK. From Container Atlas, Gestalten, 2020

Container Atlas is published by Gestalten, 2020. For more great reads, follow @gestalten on Instagram.