6 Unexpected Uses of Shipping Containers

The world’s first hotel built from recy­cled ship­ping con­tain­ers has popped-up in Uxbridge, West Lon­don. Each pre­fab­ri­cat­ed con­tain­er comes ful­ly-equipped with fix­tures, fur­ni­ture, and win­dows from a fac­to­ry in China.

The com­pa­ny, called Trav­elodge, says that con­struct­ing a hotel this way is 25% faster and 10% cheap­er than the more tra­di­tion­al con­struc­tion meth­ods. Also, con­struc­tion is much quick­er, because all that has to be done is to fit each con­tain­er togeth­er like it was a giant Lego set.

Trav­elodge plans to fol­low up with a 307-room ver­sion at Heathrow. They expect to save up to 10 mil­lion pounds (18.6 mil­lion dol­lars) a year on hotel devel­op­ment by using this new method.

Per­haps the smartest and most prac­ti­cal of all designs, ship­ping con­tain­ers make per­fect stack­able office space for this ware­house in a design by Clive Wilkin­son for a U.S.charity event company.The 47,000 square foot ware­house is filled with ship­ping con­tain­ers that have been trans­formed into mod­ern office spaces. The idea is cheap, sim­ple, maneu­ver­able and saved the com­pa­ny a ton of mon­ey on con­struc­tion costs, and it allowed the entire space to be more open and airy.

This stun­ning home is almost like a piece of art that you can live in. Con­struct­ed using 12 recy­cled ship­ping con­tain­ers, the12 con­tain­er home has all of the mod­ern con­ve­niences of a tra­di­tion­al­ly built home but with a unique ele­ment of style as well. A mod­ern kitchen, huge wide-open floor plan, and gigan­tic win­dows that bring in tons of nat­ur­al light­ing are just a few of the great fea­tures of this home, con­struc­tion costs were rel­a­tive­ly inex­pen­sive when com­pared to tra­di­tion­al construction.

These box­es were intend­ed to only be a tem­po­rary solu­tion to a stu­dent accom­mo­da­tion prob­lem in Hol­land, but ship­ping con­tain­ers pro­vide an effec­tive solu­tion to low-cost stu­dent housing.

Con­tain­ers are home to not only the 1000 units that each have a pri­vate bal­cony, but a cafe, super­mar­ket, office space, and even a sports area. Units are arranged in “blocks,” each block con­tain­ing a ser­vice unit with cen­tral­ized elec­tric­i­ty, inter­net, and net­work­ing systems.

This ship­ping con­tain­er shop is anoth­er project sit­u­at­ed in Europe. The mes­sen­ger bag shop can be found in Zurich’s indus­tri­al quar­ter, rather appro­pri­ate­ly. And this isn’t just a mar­ket stall hid­den inside a met­al box, as you can see these con­tain­ers are stacked up, hit­ting 85 feet high. The com­pa­ny con­tin­ue the ethos of the goods they are sell­ing, using recy­clable mate­r­i­al to cre­ate a retail space that you’d have to have a look around in.

In oth­er parts of the world, places like Odessa, Ukraine already have the the biggest shop­ping mall in all of Europe which uses stacked ship­ping con­tain­ers to form alleys through­out the 170 acre site. In Asia, the Dor­doy Bazaar in Bishkek, Kyr­gyzs­tan is almost entire­ly com­posed of emp­ty ship­ping con­tain­ers stacked two high and chock-full of inex­pen­sive trin­kets and toys. So, in oth­er words, ship­ping con­tain­er archi­tec­ture is noth­ing new, but it is new when it comes to res­i­den­tial and office applications.

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