When time jumps through the roof: Re-use/Re-model - The Shipping Container

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


From industrial estates to breathtaking rural locations, what started its journey
as a mode for transporting goods, can today be a home, a hostel, a studio or
a public space. Due to the obvious modular form and flexibility of the shipping
container, it inevitably steers the design development somewhat. Once the
traditional shipping container has been collected, transported, shipped,
stripped and delivered – the range of architectural design options is endless.
Existing and additional pre-fabrication of components makes the construction
process faster, more efficient and perhaps also predictable to a certain
degree. The key is in the creative process; the imagination, the conceptual
strength of the design and the route the architects take to transform this hard
surfaced steel beast into an ergonomic, human scale space. Challenges in
the reuse and remodeling of these existing structures, can be difficult and
diverse, the treatment of the steel, for example, can be a costly, difficult, time
consuming job, although the positives outweigh some of this. For example,
the shipping container is generally tough, secure and weather proof. It is
modular, transportable, easily disguised and connected to existing structures.

In this article I will be looking at some current, innovative and exciting projects
remodeled from shipping containers.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2017


  • architecture
  • Shipping Container
  • materials and processes
  • technology


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