New Uses for Old Shipping Containers (Photo & Video)

A quick survey of the many uses for recycled shipping containers. We’re interested in alternative structures for future AIDG shops.


Los Angeles

Architects are designing modern homes from the millions of excess shipping containers that are piling up at the port of LA due to the US trade deficit with China. By using the steel shipping containers as building material, homes can save 50% of construction costs, while reducing the waste and blight caused by trying to store them.

Container City, London (Dockland’s Area)

Container City, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London
Photo by Flickr user Pappa99

A clip from History Channel’s “Modern Marvels” about London’s Container City – a project which utilises end of life shipping containers into habitable accomodation.

British Columbia, Canada


Emergency Shelter/housing

Sean Godsell’s Future Shack

Sean Godsell's Future Shack

See Washington Post article: Future Shack: Home for the Displaced

Retail space


Coke Emblazoned Shop in Recycled Shipping Container
Photo by Flickr user tmms

Singapore (Puma Concept Store)

Puma Concept Store in Singapore
Photo by Flickr user pastrami44


Temporary Uniqlo Store
One of a few temporary locations for new UNIQLO stores in NYC. Source: PSFK


Designed with Haiti in mind

This is the TV segment of our final review at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, our 3rd and 4th year vertical studio designed and built a medical facility from a 20 foot shipping container.

For more information on the Doc in a box concept, see their project page on the Open Architecture Network.



Shipping Container/Karaoke Bar
Photo by Flickr user troutfactory

Data Center

Project Blackbox, Sun Microsystems

Project Blackbox from Sun Microsystems

Project Blackbox from Sun Microsystems

More Photos from CNET

See Lot-ek for more examples.

Shipping container home/research facility adjacent to World Heritage Rainforest site