Inspiring Uses for Secondhand Shipping Containers
Globally it is estimated that there are around 700,000 used shipping containers that are waiting for a new home or purpose. In recent years, builders, architects and innovators in Australia and around the world have begun to put secondhand shipping containers to use in creative ways. Shipping containers are emerging as:
- Mobile offices
- Shopping complexes
- Incorporated into home design
- Emergency housing
- Student accommodation
- Warehouses and more!
Let’s look at some truly innovative ways in which secondhand containers are being repurposed.
Melbourne’s String Bean Alley has had a facelift with a stretch of shipping container permanent market stalls where its long-term tenants sell their wares. These stylish and contemporary units sit in the old market in central Melbourne, and also have the advantage for the unit-holders to be able to lock their goods up securely every evening.
Shipping containers are stackable, and as such have been turned into very large apartment complexes. In January 2019 we looked at one such complex in Los Angeles that has 84 studio apartments that are rented out at an affordable rate to those on 60 percent or less of the city’s average income. Cheap can be cheerful too – these aren’t ramshackle rabbit hutches but comfortable, well appointed homes for those whose only difficulty is not earning enough to pay market rents in and around LA.
Stow-Away is a hotel close to the City of London and provides a choice of self-catering or standard hotel accommodation for its customers – guests can either use the en-suite kitchenettes or the licensed restaurant on the ground floor. At AU$284 a night this is a mid-range hotel for anyone looking to stay in the centre of London but who appreciates style and comfort. The advantages of using container architecture in this case meant that the hotel was able to be built quickly and cheaply, no mean feat in one of the most expensive cities in the world for commercial real estate.
Flood proof grand designs
Todd and Diana Miller built a luxury home down the road from us in Graceville, Brisbane, that was of sufficient quality and ambition it made the TV series Grand Designs Australia. Built in an area prone to flooding, it is designed to be lived in even if there is several metres of floodwater around the house, yet still provides a high level of comfort and luxury to its residents. It took our interest as the shipping containers used were supplied by us!
Another concept played with by more adventurous spirits has been the idea of floating container homes. As we discussed in this article, as long as it floats, is stable and can survive the conditions it is designed to be used in, your imagination can run free as to what you can do with a floating container home. We have even seen floating student accommodation in Copenhagen!
Innovative and affordable student accommodation has been fashioned out of used shipping containers in Keetwonen, Amsterdam. It is the largest container city in the world and since its inception in 2005 they have become one of the most popular choices for students in the area. Initially it was feared that the container student homes would be too cold, too noisy or uncomfortable for students, but the opposite has proved to be the case.
They are a self-contained and very popular choice now for Dutch students and more accommodation of this type is planned in the near future.
Talk to us about secondhand shipping containers
Contact Gateway Container Sales & Hire today! Our team of container sales experts are on hand to give you a quote or to discuss how you can benefit from using a second hand shipping container for your project.