Caterpillar House by Sebastián Irarrázaval


Construction of the 350-square-metre container house took just 8 months compared to a year or more, pointing out one of the many benefits of prefabricated construction. It also cost a 1/3 less. The site was first cleared of loose clay and rocks, and concrete retaining walls were erected to enclose the living areas on the ground level. Outdoor stairs at one end lead up to a side deck, with an open container serving as a cantilevered lap pool. To support the upper level, a massive steel cross­beam and posts anchor the containers that line up in four side-by-side volumes, each with its own viewfinder window at either end. The containers were trucked to the site and then cut and welded before being craned into place. Polyurethane was sprayed on, and the entire structure was clad in steel plates.

Architect: Sebastián Irarrázaval
Area: 350 sq m
Containers: 12 shipping containers: six 20-foot (6-m) units, five 40-foot (12-m) units and open-top shipping container for swimming pool.
Location: Santiago, Chile
Year: 2012
Photography: Sergio Pirrone

"Contertainer" - polyclinic and library made from 8 used containers in Indonesia


"Contertainer, designed by dpavilion architects of Surabaya – Indonesia, is an amalgam of two words: container and entertainer. From its outer look, at a glance one can see an architectural form made of several brightly painted containers—red, yellow, blue and light green—in attractive position and composition, thus forming a contertainer.

Principal architects of dpavilion, Edwin Nafarin, once muttered: “I want to create architecture that would please many”. Contertainer is one of his works that manifests his architectural creed.

Contertainer Is situated in Batu, East Jawa, Indonesia. Batu is a relatively new town which still retains a strong agricultural nuance. Perhaps it is a town with a village-like atmosphere. Contertainer is a public facility, consisting of a polyclinic and a library, where ordinary people can come and use the facilities for free. The appearance of the contertainer in town can be perceived through various angles, for the appearance of an architectural work would be followed by many effects which it produces.

One question to reveal: why dpavilion architects, as a designer of polyclinic and public library, started its idea from container? Perhaps there are several factors. First, a logical one: container is a firm structure with human-scaled spatial aspect (in spite of its real purpose as container of goods), so it is rather practical, quick and cheap to be transformed into architectural work (a 2,4m x12m used container costs only 8 million rps, there are 8 containers). Second, a morphological factor: container has a unique characteristic, a hollow block with standardized sizes, with potentialities to be designed with extreme and provocative manner. Third, symbolical factor: these containers, now utilized as a polyclinic and library, had travelled around the globe. Hence, a container is a true adventurer.

The containers utilized as a polyclinic and library are used container, a true adventurer, is undoubtedly representing the library. Books, “the windows to the world”, are placed inside such container; an appropriate collaboration, is it not? May it stimulate the children reading at the library, fulfilling their curiousities to explore terra incognita.

Also, a container has dynamic nature, it moves and shifts, yet it also transformed into static, unshifting architectural being. To force a container to remain still, is seemingly against its dynamic nature. Yet the designers celebrate its dynamic form through a twisted, non-linear composition. This is enhanced with supporting columns placed uncongruently, making the contertainer enjoys its dynamism.

The contertainer is also a parody, the dichotomy of architecture as a place for activities (which considers human scale) and as expression (expressing emotion and the will of artist), the contertainer exhibits containers of goods as containing human beings. We may ponder upon this: how important is human being for architecture? How un-important is human being for architecture?" dpavilion architects

Design: dpavilion architect
Location: Kota Batu, East Java, Indonesia
Photography: Ganny Gozaly

Marti Montgomery's shipping container house, Springfield, Missouri



With a budget of $150,000, Marti Montgomery used four shipping containers to build a home on the land she's dreamed of living on for decades.

Design: Jason Mitchell and Michael Mardis
Year: 2010
Total Cost: $150,000
Location: Springfield, Missouri
Photography: Jess Heugel

Casa Manifesto. Recycled shipping container house, Chile


Bioclimatic design, recycling, reuse, reduction of building materials; clean and renewable energy use. All these concepts converge in the Casa Manifesto - recycled shipping container house designed by James & Mau and built by Infiniski.

The structure consists of the three shipping containers, combined with other materials such as wood, recycled aluminum and others. The construction is based on a modular prefabricated design, which allows to limit transport costs and pollution on site. This system suggests the complete realization of the house design, integrating possible extensions - fast and consistent, in case the client's space needs will change over time.

Design: James & Mau, Infiniski
Area: 160 m2
Year: 2009
Execution Time: 90 days
Total Cost: 79.000 €
Location: Curacavi, Chile
Photography: Antonio Corcuera

Portable shipping container holiday home, New Zealand


Atelierworkshop believe shipping containers can be an effective answer for various scale architectural projects and if site access, portability, security, robustness are issues. This portable shipping container holiday home was built in Hangzhou, China and transported to New Zealand. The prototype is now part of the exhibition of Puke Ariki Museum in New Plymouth. This container home is not in production now (1/2013) and require commercial partners in order to produce it.

Design: Atelierworkshop
Photography: Paul McCredie

Shipping containers in loft apartment, San Francisco, California


Two San Francisco travel and art addicts overhauled a loft apartment and customized two shipping containers to reflect their passions and accommodate their collection. Read article in Dwell

Design: Lundberg Design
Photography: Drew Kelly

Prefabricated container house built from eight containers


The prefabricated container house is built from eight container units transported by truck and assembled using a crane in three days. The units have been designed from recycled shipping containers 40'. The exterior is in accordance with the municipality and the regulations. The area is 240 m2 on 2 levels. Upstairs 3 bedrooms, office, powder room, bathroom and a bedroom to finish by the owner. The interior design is in line with clients: industrial style, choice of noble and authentic materials: steel, aluminum, glass, polycarbonate, wood and other industrial materials.

Design: Patrick Partouche