What to Read Next

10 Houses Made from Shipping Containers

Alexa Hotz
July 7, 2013

Last weekend on an overcast Sunday, I locked myself indoors to watch episode after episode of Top of the Lake (think Twin Peaks set in New Zealand). In Jane Campion's compelling drama, a group of women create a camp called Paradise, made from shipping containers set on the edge of the lake. We like the idea of a shipping container as vacation getaway—it's mobile, inexpensive, and an example of creative reuse at its finest. We've rounded up our ten favorite houses (plus a swimming pool) made with shipping containers.

Above: A guest house/garden retreat/playhouse made from a repurposed steel shipping container by Jim Poteet of Poteet Architects in San Antonio, Texas. For more on the project, see our Q & A with Poteet in The Architect Is In: Container as Guest House.

Above: The Oakland home of architect Stephen Shoup of building Lab inc. includes an attached office space for the firm's staff built from a 3- by 6-foot shipping container. For more visit the story from Dwell, Creative Re-Use in Oakland; photography by Aya Brackett for Dwell.

Above: In the center of Container City, a project designed by Urban Space Management along London's Trinity Buoy Wharf, a container functions as a pool.

Above: Overlooking Loch Long on the Rosneath Peninsula in Scotland is Cove Park, where a group of artist residencies designed by Edo Architecture are set into the 60 acres of hillside. The firm built a terrace of three accommodation units from six containers welded together and set into the landscape with green rooftops.

Above: A pop-up hotel called Sleeping Around travels the globe according to demand. The hotel uses containers from a 1950s stock steel crate; once settled in a location, the rooms can be set up and fully functional within five hours. For more on the hotel, visit Design Boom.

Above: Using a stray shipping container and timber from old weapon boxes, architect Damith Premathilake built his holiday cabana at Maduru Oya in Sri Lanka; photograph by Logan MacDougall Pope for Inhabitat.

Above: Maziar Behrooz Architecture's Insta-House is a prefab container art studio made up of four 8-by-40-foot containers covering 960 square feet. The two-story live/work space can be erected in one week with prices starting at $99,800. The house shown here is tucked away in the Hamptons.

Above: A bach (meaning vacation cabin; it's short for "bachelor pad") in New Zealand was designed by Atelier Workshop. The container has built-in wood paneling, a foldout terrace, and bunk beds; all that and it's meant to be mobile. For more, see A Shipping Container Transformed into the Ultimate Holiday House.

Above: Prefab houses from MEKA (Modular, Environmental, Kinetic, Assembly) made from a steel shipping container, cedar wood paneling, double glazed argon-filled windows, a bamboo interior, and slate bathroom; four different design options range from $40K to $135K.

Above: Spotted on Inhabitat, British Columbia-based design collective Bark Design's All Terrain Cabin is a 480-square-foot cabin fully equipped for off-the-grid living.

Above: A cargo container house sits on a flat site in the Galician countryside of Spain. Designed by architects Severo Fernandez and Basilio Rodriguez of Estudio Base.

Craving more smart design solutions? Sift through the Architecture & Interiors section of our archive for more.


 Vote for Your Favorites in Each Category Once a Day

Remodelista Reader Finalists Remodelista Professional Finalists Gardenista Finalists
Best Dining Space Best Dining Space Best Architectural Feature
Best Office Space Best Office Space Best Indoor Garden
Best Kitchen Space Best Kitchen Space Best Urban Garden
Best Bath Space Best Bath Space Best Edible Garden
Best Bedroom Space Best Bedroom Space Best Outdoor Room
  Best Children’s Space