Purunã Observatory - Shipping Container Educational Astronomy Science Building

Floor plans / Drawings
About Bruno Zaitter

ProjectObservatório Purunã (Purunã Observatory)
ArchitectsBruno Zaitter architect
Area45 m²
Containers1 x 40 ft and 1 x 20 ft
LocationBalsa Nova, Brazil
ManufacturersBerneck, Blue Glass, Gerdal, Monte Claro Woods

Description by the project team. 

The Purunã Observatory, located in the Metropolitan Region of the city of Curitiba, is a space designed to view the universe in a didactic way. This is a dream of a photographer who loves space and its natural phenomena.

Built in just 38 days, this project has a large part of donated materials. Among these materials, two shipping containers (a 12 meter shipping container and another 6 meter long shipping container) were used as a structural solution for fast, clean and economical construction.

Inside the 6 meter long shipping container there is an exclusive space for a telescope. Right in front of you there is a concrete deck to slide the machinery, and then you can view the sky in full. In the 12 meter long container, there is a classroom and a dormitory for two people, both equipped with a sanitary installation.

The wooden deck and roof are used to enhance the experience of watching the stars and everything else that the sky has. The east, west and south façades are completely lined with planks of high claved pine wood. However, the north façade reveals the use of shipping containers as a shelter amid local agriculture.

4x45 ft Shipping Container Home with Metal Siding, Northern Ireland

Floor plans, Drawings
About Patrick Bradley Architects

ProjectGrillagh Water House
ArchitectsPatrick Bradley Architects
Containers4x45 ft
Area115 m² (1240 ft²)
LocationNorthern Ireland
PhotosAidan Monaghan Photography
Technical ArchitectAD Group
Structural EngineeringJoe Young Engineering
Construction companyThornton Roofing

Located on the banks of the Grillagh River - for residents known as Pixies Paradise - the young architect Patrick Bradley designed his shipping container house, set in the countryside in Northern Ireland next to the historic and picturesque Drumlamph Woodland, which is what remains of the "Great Killetra Forest", which would have once covered the whole of Northern Ireland.

Unlike any other house that has ever been designed and built within Northern Ireland, this house takes a completely new approach to rural Irish countryside architecture. With the concept of enhancing agricultural buildings spread across the countryside, the house is a refreshing approach to contemporary 21st century Irish architecture.

The house is the first modern construction made in a shipping container designed and built in Northern Ireland, with a primary structure composed of four 13.7 meter (45 ft) containers, which merge to form two cantilevered volumes. The 45 ft shipping containers are lined with an expanded metal of dark gray in the shape of the upper part and with natural corten steel in the lower shape, where the soil can be considered a work of sculptural art located in the landscape surrounding the project. The design of the spaces was expertly designed to make the most of the magnificent views of the place, a picturesque landscape of the surrounding mountains, the historic Drumlamph forest and the Grillagh River (Salmon River).

When approaching the home, you can travel along a path buried with dry stone walls on both sides, separating the limits of the place surrounded by agricultural fields. At the end of the access, you reach the 4x45 ft shipping container home with metal siding, and with a small elevation, you will find the main entrance door in orange color, with a balcony on a small swing above.

The main entrance to the shipping container home is located on the top floor, on the north side of the site, which takes us through a small entrance gallery into the living room, openly planned, with kitchen, dining room and living room. This area was designed to have a free flow circulation, which also takes us to the two areas of balconies external to the South and West. One of the three bedrooms is behind a hidden door to the entrance gallery. The location and position of the upper floor were designed to make the most of the view and natural sunlight, since it is also in this area of ​​the house that some emotion is provided regarding a relaxing and calm atmosphere. Between the kitchen and the dining room rests the box of the steel sculpture-ladder that leads down to the ground floor level.

When descending the stairs, there is a large window framing the view of the natural stone and once you reach the level of the lower floor, you are exposed to the entire bathroom through a large internal screen, which includes an incredible and suspended projected hammock, and towards the east, a sliding glass door that gives access to a room, overlooks the surrounding agricultural fields and a cattle feeder, which provides a barrier between farm animals and the house. Located next to the bathroom is the bedroom, which also gives access to the outside gardens with a large balcony swinging above, towards the south. At the end of the small circulation hall there is a hidden door that leads to the main bedroom. The interior design layout of this room follows a hotel style, with the shower area open with a large internal screen, providing a beautiful view over the bed for the historic Drumlamph Wood. Hidden behind a frosted glass wall is the bathroom and sink. The dormitory itself is located in the most protected area of ​​the 4x45 ft shipping container home with a large glass window with incredible views and the only sound around it, that of the forest's wildlife and the flowing water of the Grillagh River. The feeling of tranquility and privacy at the lower level provides a completely different feeling than the feeling at the upper level.

The aesthetics and general forms of the 4x45 ft shipping container home, built as a sculptural house, in a completely rural environment, in a very modest size of only 115 m², provide everything you need to have the perfect family home.

3 Bedroom Tropical Shipping Container Home, Indonesia

Floor plans / Drawings
About Atelier Riri

ArchitectAtelier Riri
Area155 m² (1670 ft²)
LocationJatiasih, Indonesia
PhotographsTeddy Yunantha
Architect In ChargeArga Putra Rachman
Project DirectorNovriansyah Yakub
Construction companyASKALA Indonesia

Description by the project team. 

Atelier Riri was challenged to design a 3 bedroom shipping container home using reused containers, in an area of ​​150 sqm.

The tropical shipping container home is located in Bekasi, a suburb near the big city of Jakarta. Where there are homes for young couples with 2 children. In addition to the basic necessities, and bringing the family together in a living space, the owners also wanted to add a hobby room as an activity area for the children and their parents.

The 3 bedroom shipping container home consists of 4 overlapping and crisscrossing installed shipping containers. These containers serve secondary needs, such as the hobby room, especially since space is limited and thermal comfort is still below average, although several additional layers have actually been added to the ceiling to lower the interior temperature. This includes the installation of a metal mesh for plant propagation and glass wool insulation over the pine wood.

The movement of people inside the tropical shipping container home, is continuous, exploring each space that could be more entertaining for the occupants. Stairs and ramps reach each floor and the part of the house that is divided by a large void in its center. We also made additional space by using a wooden deck on the top. This space can be used to gather the family while enjoying the fresh air in the morning or midday.

To continue the spirit of recycling materials, all the wood in the project is used pine. The metal plates are arranged to form a connection between the container frame and the door. We also focus on reducing materials, such as floors, made of polished concrete, unfinished wood furniture, and brick wall that was only painted to reduce the use of cement.

The roof garden is also used as an extended space from the containers.

We strongly believe that this 3 bedroom shipping container home will give a new definition to contemporary tropical Indonesian homes.

La Casa Container - 2 Bedroom Shipping Container Home, Argentina

Floor plans / Drawings
Diagrams / Schemes
About José Schreiber Architect
About Estudio Scharq

ProjectLa Casa Container
ArchitectJosé Schreiber Architect
Area195 m²
LocationSan Francisco, Argentina
Project And Construction ManagementJosé Miguel Schreiber
CollaboratorMaria Laura Gonzalez
Structural CalculationGuillermo Velazquez
Budget$ 1,180,000 ARS
PhotosRamiro Sosa

Description by the project team. 

Daily life mobilizes us at a dizzying pace. Starting with the choice of the neighborhood, located on the outskirts of San Francisco (Argentina), going through the acquisition of the lot and defining itself in the project, "La Casa Container", it aims to be a resting place away from the center, characterized by the environmental quality of its immediate context. The versatility of its spaces accompanies the changes in contemporary ways of life and family composition.

La Casa Container is a result of a search for technical, aesthetic and functional innovation. Its morphology is made up of two metal boxes arranged in an "L", which structure the ground floor containing all the services (entrance, kitchen and pantry in one container. Laundry room, bathroom, barbecue, workshop and warehouse in another).

The void between the two boxes is where public life takes place: barbecue and dining room. Above them, on the upper floor, is the unifying element of the complex: a large solid volume of traditional construction that gravitates on the shipping containers, sheltering the private area of ​​bedrooms and bathroom inside.

This 2 bedroom shipping container home project is characterized by responding to three basic premises: technological innovation, construction speed and simplification of materials. The maritime containers arose as a response to the original design of the house, which sought to use elements originally conceived for another function, recycling them to face a new challenge.

Its interiors are conditioned with polyurethane foam, which in ceilings was painted with latex, leaving it visible and in vertical walls it was covered with gypsum rock panels, hiding facilities. In lightened slabs, the same logic is followed, painting and highlighting the constructive elements that compose it. All the floors are made of smoothed cement, accompanying the spatial continuity of the La Casa Container shipping container home thanks to its large seamless panels.

To the outside, the 2 bedroom shipping container home is closed by a blind facade to preserve privacy and protect itself from the most pernicious orientations (South and West). The openings located towards the street were made using the steel sheet extracted from the openings in the shipping containers, the access door is the best example. Inside, its rooms open up to the green of the patio, enjoying the best orientations for these latitudes (north and east), making the most of natural lighting and ventilation throughout the day. Here, the openings are made of high-performance aluminum with hermetic double glazing for proper habitability.

50 sqm 1 Bedroom Prefab Shipping Container Houses, Brazil

About Hotel Fazenda Cainã
About Bruno Zaitter

Simple Shipping Container Home Built with 2x40 ft Containers and Elevated Roof

It is a place that invites you to live more simply, freely and lightly.

Floor plans / Drawings
About Plannea Arquitectura
About Constanza Domínguez

ProjectCasa Abierta Container (Open House Container)
ArchitectsConstanza Domínguez C., Plannea Arquitectura
Area95 m²
Containers1x40 ft HC and 1x40 ft STD
LocationLa Compañía, Chile
SuppliersBASF, Ceresita, Cintac, Cintac®, Melón Hormigones, Pizarreño, Volcan, Winko, Acma, Behr Specialty, Containers Patagonia, Ferretería Higuerillas, Rotoplastic, Transaco, Villalba

Description by project team.

It was born as an urgent and circumstantial project. This then transforms into an elemental space, giving the feeling of versatility, flexibility and connection to nature.

Open House Container can be used as a home or as a multi-purpose space. The two containers are connected by a large cover (elevated roof), which produces an open space. This allows the house to be extended and transformed at certain times of the day in an artistic workshop or architectural office and at other times in a yoga room and a crossfit box.

It is a place that invites you to live more simply, freely and lightly. A direct relationship with nature is established in its close relationship with the outside. The habitable module has large windows that connect the interior space with the surroundings, giving the feeling of expansion.

The project has a minimum of environmental impact, since elements decommissioned from the industrial world (shipping containers) and the agricultural world (fruit pallets for furniture) were used. The main advantages of this system are recycling, speed of construction, cost reduction and optimization of materials.

The project sought to solve the need to install a warehouse in a reused 40´STD maritime container (interior height 2.40 m). To take advantage of the space and give it a more versatile use, a second module was added, consisting of a reused 40'HC maritime container (interior height 2.70m) that enabled a bedroom, a common space and a bathroom.

The parallel arrangement separated by 6 meters between the two modules generates an intermediate space that is covered with a higher metallic structure (elevated roof) that covers the entirety of the 2 containers. The resulting space is transformed into a habitable solution with an articulating role between the 2 elements.


Understanding the project by the parts that make it up.

  • Environment: Natural context of soft hills, protective trees and silence.
  • Container warehouse: It plays a fundamental role as a support for the intermediate space by having its entire longitudinal face closed.
  • Habitable Container: It fulfills the function of solving the need for a room and being indoors.
  • Intermediate space: Being open at both ends, it becomes a semi interior and exterior space with a multi-purpose.
  • Elevated Roof: Provides spaciousness and gives a feeling of shelter. It generates an effect of thermal regulator due to air circulation due to the height difference and for having its perimeter open. Its slope allows the use of a second level on the warehouse container.
  • Wraparound layer: The wood cladding adds warmth and harmony, breaking with the hardness of the metal. It works as a ventilated façade as it is separated from the metal cladding and ventilated at both ends.
  • Stove: It acts as a finish to the intermediate space, providing a cozy and intimate touch, integrating the landscape with the construction.

Products used in this work:

Volcanite for interior - gypsum cardboard - Volcan
METALCON® construction system - Cintac®

$60,000 40 ft Shipping Container Home, Oklahoma

Shipping Container House Design with Minimalist Grit by Larry Lucas, AIA
About Larry Lucas, AIA
About Cisco Containers, L.L.C.
About 360 Engineering Group, PLLC

ArchitectLarry Lucas, AIA
Shipping container modificationsCisco Containers, L.L.C.
Structural engineer360 Engineering Group, PLLC
LocationOklahoma City, Oklahoma
OwnerJosh McBee
PhotographyJosh McBee
Project cost$60,000

Josh McBee first saw a shipping container home online one day in late 2012. His one-bedroom apartment in Venice Beach, California was feeling progressively smaller, and the blue guest house he saw online made from a big metal box caught his attention.

"I saw the container guest house in Austin. It was 20 feet long, and I thought to myself, 'I could live in that full-time,'" he said.

Four years and several moves later, he did just that. McBee is now one of the thousands who are using shipping containers to build homes, and the trend is expected to grow even more. According to Market Watch, shipping containers as homes are expected to increase globally by 6.5% annually from 2019 to 2025.

For McBee, the simplicity of the living area in a container and the low utility costs appealed to him the most.

McBee converted his walk-in closet in the one-bedroom in Venice Beach into his own personal bedroom, and rented out the bedroom to travelers through online couch-surfing and vacation rental sites in 2009. He supplemented his income as an industrial researcher and economic analyst through the rentals.

But that blue shipping container guest house he saw stuck with him. In 2013, he quit his job and spent six months traveling from Lisbon to Tokyo. "I knew I couldn't go back to Los Angeles, and I couldn't do a shipping container home there," he said. "But I could do it in Oklahoma City."

Casa RDP - Shipping Container Industrial Style House, Ecuador

Construction Process
Floor plans / Drawings
About Daniel Moreno Flores
About Sebastian Calero

ProjectCasa RDP
ArchitectsSebastian Calero, Daniel Moreno Flores
Area251.75 m²
Exterior Area123.55 m²
Containersseven 20-foot shipping containers and one 40-foot shipping container
PhotographsLorena Darquea Schettini
Structural DesignJorge Vintimilla, Elvis Escudero (Collaborator)
ConstructorEsteban Romo
PlatformsIván Cevallos, Víctor Sánchez, Leoncio Lanche
CollaboratorsLuis Fernando Taco, Roberto Alban, Gustavo Aguirre, Mateo Torres, Santiago Egas,
Gabriela Loaiza, José López, Tatiana Chávez, Lucia Gómez
ElectricRodrigo Tipan
PlumbingFernando Heredia
sq m cost$542 usd
Total Cost$170,000 usd

Description by architects

The projects we do correspond to the understanding of all the parts and the singularities of each particular environment. We do not intend to seek predetermined solutions, so the ideas of this shipping container industrial style house are born from the wishes, experiences and ways of living of the clients.

The owner, when he was little, sought to decipher the operation of old clocks. This passion for mechanics later led him to motorcycles and Land Rover cars. He was interested in a very didactic, utilitarian and detachable house (in the understanding of parts such as the mechanics of these vehicles) and that the constructive solutions are visible, regardless of their manufacture. By deciphering this direct connection with metal, the idea and the desire to live in a shipping container industrial style house appeared. One of the main reasons for experimenting with this material was the energy savings it implies, since after their useful life these objects become waste (as there are so many in the world it becomes a problem), by changing their function and livable, not only that it is given a new use but that it is built in a clean way. In the design a simplification work was done where only the necessary parts should exist.

Subsequently, seven 20-foot containers and one 40-foot container arrived in La Morita (Tumbaco) from Guayaquil. These modules were to help assemble a singular house, implanted in a large green area, almost flat, and detached from the mundane noise of the city.

The principles

The shipping containers are imperfect, they keep all their scars as the legacy to their record of blows and history of uses. These objects were conceived as the complementary spaces of the shipping container industrial style house: cellars, bathrooms, closets and kitchen, and they are practically used in their natural state. Thus, the possibility of not making changes to its original structure was raised, and if so, find the responsible justification to intervene. In this way, the modifications made were strategic and strictly linked to lighting, ventilation and linkage criteria between interior and exterior environments.

On the other hand, and in order to show the material essence, the factory paint was removed in the outside (bare metal), while inside, a neutral and sanitary character was maintained, guided by the white color. Later, the floor would be worked, which kept its original wood.

The process

Four stages of construction were planned:

1. Functional spots. Due to a slight variation of levels in the longitudinal section of the terrain, the platforms protrude as little as possible from the highest edge, they are small islands blurred in sight.

2. The second stage was the assembly, alignment and anchoring of the shipping containers on the concrete platforms by means of a mechanical crane. In all cases, the shipping containers rest on the concrete, fly slightly outwards, giving a feeling of balance and weight control. These pieces are distanced from each other in order to create and delimit living spaces and, in turn, constitute the backbone of the shipping container house, on which the roofs sit.

3. The third stage corresponded to the placement and welding of the system of metal beams, which cross from container to container and help to assemble the concrete roof tiles.

4. Finally, the fourth stage, consisted of hanging from the roof, a system of cables and beams, which helped to shape the bedrooms, inside which wood dominates.

This shipping container industrial style house maintains a strong link with the exterior (green area and mountains) and all the spaces between the containers are a kind of material absence, only the imperceptible metal frames with the glass are evident.

Three mechanical systems were designed to transform the use in the spaces, a manual elevator to go up to the second floor, manipulable blinds placed in the bedrooms and a flexible floor in the master bathroom that folds down to make visible and occupy a bathtub. All these solutions are like a game that allows the user to be a participant in an architecture designed for them.

La Secundaria Valladolid - Modular Shipping Container School, Mexico

Floor plans / Drawings
About Boutique de Arquitectura

ProjectLa Secundaria Valladolid (Valladolid High School)
ArchitectsBoutique de Arquitectura
Area240 m²
LocationMexico City, Mexico

La Secundaria Valladolid - Modular Shipping Container School is a project with unique characteristics in the educational field of Mexico. From the beginning of the design the goal was to do something different and innovative that would also be attractive to students. One of the most important conditions of the project was the construction time, since for reasons of the Ministry of Public Education (SEP), the facilities had to be verified on a specific date. It was the union of these two factors that led us to use shipping containers for classrooms, thus solving the problem of construction time and adding a very important recycling and environmental protection factor.

The complete project includes 15 classrooms. The first stage is made up of 5 classrooms, which include 3 classrooms for teaching classes, 1 computer laboratory, and 1 polyfunctional laboratory (physics, chemistry, and biology). Likewise, all the complementary spaces necessary for the proper functioning of the school were built: toilets (women, men and teachers), warehouses and laboratory annexes.

To make each of the classrooms or modules, a 40-foot High Cube type shipping container (HC 40" Container) divided in half was used, the union of the two pieces was made through a core of natural lighting and ventilation, with clear glass base. It is important to note that all the structural reinforcements were made based on certified structural calculation. This process was extremely complicated, since there are not a large number of projects carried out from the shipping containers.

The difficulty of the project stems from the scarcity of available information and specific construction methods for this type of modular construction in Mexico. After a long and in-depth analysis, absolutely all the structural and installation details were successfully resolved. The construction experienced several challenges throughout its duration (3 months), among which the tight delivery time, the logistics during the assembly of each container and the complexity of connecting each installation to the modules stood out.

Like most projects of Boutique de Arquitectura, La Secundaria Valladolid includes an important ecological part. On this occasion, our proposal is the reuse of shipping containers previously used for loading and unloading across the oceans. By doing this, we reduce the environmental impact since traditional construction methods that involve the use of natural resources directly on site are avoided. Likewise, we extend the useful life of the shipping containers by giving them a second use.

3 Bedroom 1300 sqft Shipping Container Home in Lago Vista, Texas (35 miles from Austin)


ProjectVilla de Shipping Containers
Area1,300 sq ft
LocationLago Vista, Texas (35 miles from Austin)
Price$622,500Sold in July 2020

Lago Vista, Texas (35 miles from Austin) is a beautiful location with scenic views and natural attractions, such as Lake Travis and the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. The climate is typically warm with mild winters, making it a great location for year-round living. A shipping container home in Lago Vista can provide a unique and affordable living space with a modern and minimalist design, and there are several additional potential benefits to consider.

First, shipping container homes in Texas can be relatively affordable and efficient to build, especially in comparison to traditional homes. The modular and durable nature of shipping containers can also provide a strong basic structure for a sturdy and resilient home, which may be particularly beneficial in a region prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes.

Additionally, the adaptability of shipping container homes can allow for customization and flexibility in design and layout, while also providing the opportunity to be more environmentally conscious by incorporating sustainable materials and energy-efficient features.

Overall, this shipping container home in Lago Vista, Texas, may be a unique and attractive option for those seeking a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly housing solution in a picturesque location.

Description from realtor.com

Villa de Shipping Containers - 3 Bedroom Shipping Container Home, Texas, overlooking Lake Travis. It's three unique units that all share a pool. Optimal use: Picturesque and sustainable chic setting for long term rental (rent 2 and keep one for your lake house) [or] a perfect family vacation home where everyone enjoys their own private spaces [or] just live your best life here, it's awesome. Multiple level patios capture the natural beauty of Lake Travis and span the vast Texas Hill Country. Just a 45 minute scenic drive to Austin!

Hai d3 Shipping Container Development, Dubai, UAE

Drawings / Floor plans / Sections
About Dubai Design District (d3)
About ibda design

ProjectHai d3
Architectsibda design
Area1877 m²
LocationDubai, UAE
Design TeamYuka Takeuchi, Sho Ikeya, Takeshi Harikai, Takuma Fujisaki, Makoto Udagawa, Lloyd Fontilla
Architect in ChargeWael Al Awar and Kenichi Teramoto
Urban DesignCultural Engineering (Rashid bin Shabib)
Swing DesignCase Design
ContractorAMBB Interiors

Hai d3 is a concept created as an incubation space for the development of emerging local creative talents from the center of Dubai's 'Design District'. It was supposed to be a temporary facility with a five-year program of use, and with a construction time of eight months. The shipping container development is intended to host a variety of events, exhibitions, collaborative works, and displays to foster growth in the different fields of art and design in the Middle East.

It was designed as a neighborhood, showing that the master plan of the entire Design District Dubai was intended to encourage a community of artists in the region. Inspired by the efficiency of the traditional planning of the Arab quarter, the general lines of the shipping container development project were arranged to accommodate open spaces, which are further worked through landscaped "pockets" that serve as patios for each of the complex's buildings. These patios not only complement the industrial nature of the architecture, but also promote the activity, and consequently, the vitality of the entire site.

These buildings are formed with the use of recycled containers of 12 meters long, all transformation is done by hand with careful consideration to preserve its raw, industrial form. The application of these shipping containers allows for rapid construction and dismantling that opens up possibilities for re-fabricating the architecture if deemed necessary. Six different stacking designs were carried out, compounded to respond directly to the program. Art galleries, a workshop, a library, retail spaces, as well as a cafeteria and prayer rooms were introduced into the shipping container development, which were arranged based on the use of the facility. Annex buildings were also introduced, adding 6-meter containers for services, toilets and storage, as well as an access piece. An element that not only welcomes the people of the neighborhood, but also serves as a multifunctional space that artists can arrange for film screenings, meetings or outdoor workshops.

Sustainability was key in this shipping container development project, taking into account the region's ecological construction initiatives. Passive cooling, through shipping containers implemented as "wind towers" distributed throughout the site. These wind towers promote natural ventilation by capturing strong currents of winds that channel into the patios. Additionally, passive lighting is employed in buildings with the use of full height windows and high side lights, as the abundance of sunlight is intrinsic to Dubai. The openings also frame both the landscape of the place and the built horizon of the city.

This shipping container development project, with the use of clean and simple shapes, and simple but welcoming views, offers its users a platform of flexibility, in which they can embrace the dynamism of their work, and in turn, use it as a way to boost the creative industry from the Middle East.

Lily Pad Airbnb - Small Shipping Container Home, Ohio

Construction Process
The Lily Pad Contact Info
Hocking Hills State Park Contact Info
About Creative Cabinets
About Creative Cabins

BuilderCreative Cabins
Interior DesignCreative Cabinets
Containers1 x 40 ft
Area280 sf
LocationHocking Hills State Park, Logan, Ohio, United States
PhotographyLevi Kelly

Near Hocking Hills, Ohio, a design-savvy couple nestle a glossy black shipping container within a heavily wooded—and sentimental—piece of land.

When Troy and Dianna Shurtz—the owners of Creative Cabinets, Ltd who live near Lancaster, Ohio—thought to design and build their own shipping container home as a getaway, they knew it should be located near Hocking Hills State Park, an area south of Lancaster marked by sculptural cliffs, gorges, and waterfalls. "I spent a lot of time in Hocking Hills as a child," Dianna says. "My father passed away at the age of fifty-nine and I’ve always felt closer to him when I’m there, hiking or just visiting."

For years, Dianna dreamed of building a cabin near Hocking Hills as a way to reconnect with the memory of her father. "We found the right piece of land two years ago while driving on it during the dead of winter," she says. Located only two miles from Old Man’s Cave—a recess in a rock wall named in honor of a renowned local hermit—the undulating topography of the wooded site was idyllic. The Shurtzes were drawn to the land, but also to the idea of a shipping container. "We’ve always been intrigued by shipping container homes and knew we wanted to create something unique and special for this property," Dianna says.

The glossy, black-painted home, named The Lily Pad, features 280-square-feet of living space and a shed-style metal roof that cantilevers beyond the walls of the shipping container. It shields a large porch area where the Shurtzes arranged a hot tub, a living area, a gas grill, and a swing bed. Pale oak timbers frame the windows, providing warmth and contrast to the sleek black exterior. "Our goal for the outdoor living space was to keep it as open as possible, but still sheltered from the wind, rain and snow," Dianna says. "This allowed us to include many amenities."

On the interior, rooms are flooded with sunlight that bounces off of bright white walls, making the home feel larger than its 280 square feet. A motorized, industrial-style garage door in the living room rolls up, effectively removing a 10-foot-wide portion of the wall and connecting the space to the large porch and the landscape beyond. "We wanted a lot of natural light and to bring the outdoors in," says Dianna, who selected furnishings that feature leather and wood, materials that reference textures found in nature.

A large, custom-designed window floods the open-plan kitchen with more sunlight. "It’s a picture window that allows you to admire the outdoor scenery," Dianna says. a clerestory window above the fridge lets in additional light.

The kitchen’s white cabinetry is topped with light grey quartz and displays gold hardware and pulls. "Since cabinetry is our forte, we custom built the entire kitchen," Dianna explains. "We knew we needed small appliances, so we purchased a 24-inch-wide microwave and an induction cooktop and retrofitted the refrigerator. Once we figured out how much space we needed for these items, it came down to the cabinetry, which is constructed of MDF and painted with a white lacquered finish. All of the doors, drawers and pull-out storage trays are soft-close and there’s a fireclay undermount porcelain sink."

When the aluminum-framed glass garage door in the living room is rolled up, The Lily Pad’s 280 square feet of overall living space increases to 480 square feet. And from a distance, the sheen of the shipping container’s black corrugated exterior is like a siren call in the woods. "This property is beautiful, rural, and filled with pine trees and rolling hills," Dianna says. "When we first saw it, I felt my father’s presence and knew this is where I wanted [our house] to be."

Description from Airbnb

This small shipping container home nestled on 13 acres of woods just 2 miles from the entrance of Old Man’s Cave right on 664 S in Logan Ohio.

Inside we have a cozy bedroom with full view window, private bathroom /shower, full kitchen with cooktop, living room area with small dining table for 2, gas fireplace, YouTube TV, and WiFi.

One of the coolest additions is our motorized glass garage door. Outside under a covered porch is a comfy outdoor swing bed, outdoor lights, a hot tub for two and a glass grill.

The space

The Lily Pad small shipping container home is fully heated and air conditioned inside with a Nest thermostat.

Guests will have a keyless entry pad to gain access to the property.

We have a security camera pointed directly at the driveway for your safety and ours.


The outside living space area is fully covered with a large vaulted ceiling. We have a large ceiling fan for hot days and string lights for a cozy ambience outside . The Lily Pad small shipping container home will also include a large motorized glass garage door, which opens to a full patio for enjoying nature or relaxing in the hot tub. Also includes an outdoor Fire Pit with seating for 4 guests. We also have a gas grill and a outdoor seating area for 4. As well as a twin size swing bed comfortable for afternoon naps, or just to enjoy the scenery.

We have included 4 chairs for entertaining another couple during the day but the container only sleeps 2.


The bedroom will have a full view glass window from the ceiling to floor, so you can wake up to nature and its beauty. There are window treatments for privacy as well. Connecting to the bedroom is a private full bathroom. The living space area in this small shipping container home also has a gas fireplace, TV, couch, chair, and full view remote garage door that opens to the great outdoor. The kitchen has all modern amenities including; a small refrigerator with freezer (no ice maker), cooktop, toaster oven, and microwave.

2 Story L-Shaped Shipping Container Office Building, Mexico

Drawings / Floor plans
About Gabriel Esper + SG-Arquitectos

Architects: Gabriel Esper + SG-Arquitectos
Area: 85 m²
Containers: 2
Year: 2016
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Photographs: Luis Gordoa
Suppliers: Comex, Interceramic, MACERE México
Other Participants: Alexa Mauleón

Description by project team

The project is 2 story L-shaped shipping container office building and includes the sales offices for a real estate development, for this, only a part of the land of approximately 250 m² was used, on the corner formed by Carlos B. Zetina and Benjamín Franklin streets, in Colonia Condesa.

The solution consisted of reusing two shipping containers which were placed one on top of the other perpendicularly. This solution allowed to generate a large terrace on the roof of the lower container and an exhibition room or glass box that results in the vacuum under the upper container and the ground floor.

One of the most important aspects of the project are the common and open spaces that function as a small-scale central plaza, allowing for a more friendly relationship between interior and exterior. The plaza also functions as a public space or waiting room where prospective buyers can wait to be served by sales staff.

In the lower container is the sales area and the exhibition room or glass box in which the model of the project is shown, in the upper one there is a meeting room and the main terrace, both containers communicate through an exterior staircase.

It was decided to keep the original wooden floors in each container, except for the main terrace and the glass box, in which a paste floor was used, in the same way and to maintain the industrial language of the project and inside you can see the old and rusty original structure of the upper container.

Unit Cafe - Shipping Container Restaurant, Kyiv, Ukraine

Floor plans
About TSEH Architectural Group

Architects: TSEH Architectural Group
Area: 275 m²
Containers: 14
Year: 2016
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Photographs: Mihail Cherny, Evgen Zuzovsky
Suppliers: Hexagon Poti, IVELA, Rovasi
Clients: Vasyl Khmelnytsky's fund - K. Fund
Video: Yegor Troyanovsky (direction), Olga Beskhmelnitsyna (production), Koloah (music)

Description by architects

The Unit Cafe Shipping Container Restaurant became one of the objects of the project to revitalize a part of the plant located in Kiev and our team was working on it.

This cafe is mainly for students studying at 'Unit Factory' school. At first we did not plan to build it. But as we were working on the school project, we realized that there wasn't as much room for a large canteen or cafeteria in the rebuilt building. So we decided to offer the investor to locate the cafeteria separately.

They told us about the opportunity to use shipping containers, but after a few sketches they gave us approval to prepare detailed documents.

The cafe became a quirky business card, a bright spot as residents, students, and others eat, meet, discuss business, and learn about the City of Unit - the name given to this territory.

Fourteen containers were used in the implementation of the project. One of them is vertical, where a staircase is located. On the first floor there is an open terrace that is in the form of a console above the ground floor. The console on the first floor is 7.5 meters. It has a great school and business centers. On one side there is water that leads to the entrance of the bridge.

Exterior and interior have something in common: a bright green container (the first floor) that is also partially painted in this color. There are comfortable sofas, tables with chairs, and plants on the floor and on the first floors. There is a kitchen, a toilet and pantries on the ground floor. The total area of ​​the cafeteria is 275 square meters.

Shipping Container Cruise Terminal, Port of Seville, Spain

Drawings / Floor plans
About Buró4
About Hombre de Piedra

Architecture: Buró4, Hombre de Piedra
Architects: Jesús Diáz Gómez, Ramón Cuevas Rebollo, Jorge Ferral Sevilla, Juan Rojas Fernández, José Luis Sainz-Pardo Prieto-Castro
Area: 508 m²
Location: Seville, Spain
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jesus Granada
Suppliers: Lamp Lighting
Quantity Surveyor: Manuel J. Cansino Conejero

The Port of Seville required a new Cruise Terminal with a flexible, multipurpose, expandable, easily removable and even removable character. This would allow it to adapt to the difficulty of forecasting the volume of passengers in the port and would not limit the possibilities of the valuable urban-port space of the Muelle de las Delicias. It was proposed to solve the project through maritime containers. On the other hand, the place, next to the old town, demanded an object of architectural quality that promoted dialogue between the port and its urban environment.

On-site work could only last 15 days, the maximum time between two consecutive cruise ships docking. The modular construction with recycled shipping containers would allow for work in the workshop, would ensure precision on site, and would ensure compliance with execution deadlines.

The sustainable design of the terminal takes advantage of the constructive and plastic possibilities of the reused containers, adapting them to a specific environment and climate. The heat of the sun in Seville on the sheet metal envelope could turn the terminal into an oven. Bioclimatic strategies are, therefore, essential.

Separate "high cube" containers are arranged in parallel, and standard containers are placed over the space between them, the floor of which is cut and lowered to the height of the previous ones. Thanks to this, double heights are obtained that relieve the space and allow the hot air to be placed at the top by stratification. The openings according to the prevailing winds of the upper containers allow cross ventilation that removes this heat accumulated in the upper part. The exterior white paint allows the reflection of up to 90 percent of the solar radiation and its special composition with ceramic microspheres avoids its excessive heating.

In order to achieve the large open hall that was needed despite the limitation in width of the containers, this space was designed transversely to them. The maximum possible gaps are opened in the side plate, but without compromising its structural stability both in its final phase and during its transport, assembly and disassembly.

The upper containers act as skylights. The lights and shadows generated, as well as the structural metal studs, make it possible to differentiate internally the different juxtaposed spaces of the containers, recalling, on a smaller scale, the succession of the traditional port ships. As the upper containers are separated from each other and project in flight towards the river, they are clearly recognized individually and receive the passenger arriving by boat.

The lower floor, more massive, is depressed with respect to the height of the city. Separate skylights allow you to see both banks through them. Up close they clearly show its nature as a shipping container. From the other bank, Los Remedios, make up a low plinth-shaped plinth that does not compete with the regionalist architecture behind it. The doors that are removed from the upper containers are used inside; the original floors are also used, once treated, as finished pavement. The finishes do not attempt to hide the industrial details that allow the container to be recognized, giving the space an unmistakable personality.

According to the locator plates of each of the 23 reused containers, it has covered 1,150,000 km. This equals three times the journey from earth to the moon or 29 times around the world.

While the terminal is not being used by the port, it is rented to be used as an exhibition hall, as an event hall, or even as a concert space.

Description by project team

Buró4 together with Male Stone Architects have built the port of Seville maritime station to service large passenger cruises. For this, the reuse of maritime containers has been chosen, providing a contemporary architecture that offers a building of great utility and spatial qualification, based on criteria of sustainability, flexibility and capacity for growth. Teamwork has been carried out from the bureau4 and Hombre de Piedra, with the collaboration of Tercera Piel Arquitectura and Construcciones Cabello, so a project and work service has been offered where the entire process has been addressed as a single highly complex problem that It has allowed a high control of design, terms and costs. The comprehensive management has made it possible to carry out the project and the work, turnkey, in just 2 months. The port of Seville needed a new multipurpose cruise terminal with a flexible nature that could adapt to the unpredictable number of passengers who could use it on a regular basis. On-site construction should have the ability to be extensible, mobile, having to solve its construction in 15 days, just in the space between two consecutive cruises.

The port authority proposed the idea of ​​using maritime transport containers.

The location in the port, but near the historic center, was demanding an object of architectural quality that would dialogue with its urban environment. The modular construction with recycled shipping containers was mostly carried out in the workshop, ensuring with the precision of on-site work the guarantee of completing the works on time.

The sustainable design of the terminal takes advantage of the constructive potential and plasticity of the reused containers, adapting them to a specific environment and climate. The heat of the sun in Seville on the metal envelope could turn the terminal into an oven. For them, bioclimatic strategies have therefore been essential.

Shipping Container Sale Rooms, Showroom and Offices, Santiago, Chile

Drawings / Floor plans
About Dx arquitectos

Project: MG store and offices
Architects: DX Arquitectos, Claudio Aguila, Juan Luzoro, Justyna Skrobanska
Builder: Pablo Bórquez, Furniture Operations Manager Gacitúa
Location: San Miguel, Santiago, Chile
Area: 154 m²
Materials: 40 HC (High Cube) shipping container, rubber floor, 5 mm polyurethane exposed ceiling, similar wood melamine, MG line furniture, recycled aluminum windows
Year: 2010
Photographs: Pablo Blanco Barros

The shipping container as a means of transporting a product, now as a user's container. Elementary and iconic prefab structure. Pure volumes intersect in an esplanade towards Santa Rosa, the speed of the highway defines the tensions and pauses of these.

On the first floor, the shipping containers intersect, forming the furniture exhibition and sale rooms (showroom). While the volume, which is on the second floor, contains offices.

Boutique Hotel Built from Shipping Containers, China

Drawings/Floor plans

ProjectXiangxiangxiang Boutique Container Hotel
ArchitectsTongheshanzhi Landscape Design Co
Area5000 m²
LocationChangzhi, China

Xiangxiangxiang Boutique Container Hotel is the first boutique hotel built from shipping containers in China. The hotel is located in the southwest of the Tianxia Duchenghuang tourist area and covers an area of ​​about 5000 square meters. The hotel was one of two projects designed for the third version of the China Praying Festival.

1. Incense concept: represents the thematic image and the service that distinguishes the hotel. On the one hand, the guest can feel the atmosphere of prayer in all the details of the boutique hotel built from shipping containers (as well as in the arrangement of the rooms and the interior decoration), and on the other, the hotel offers visitors the "incense experience" (themed scented meals; traditional rites, etc.)

2. Use of Containers: the hotel is made up of containers with ecological paint, reflecting the idea of ​​sustainable design.

3. The City: The boutique hotel built from shipping containers plan followed the traditional form of the popular house in Shanxi and designed a series of incense rite exercise spaces, such as "Xunxiangjing" and "Pinxiangtang" spaces, inspired by temples and cultural centers of ancient Chinese peoples.

All functional spaces are built using 35 containers of two standard sizes. Shipping containers are used for rooms, the lobby, the restaurant and patios. Interior design and Chinese-style furniture and incense-related themes characterize the ornament, creating a special experience for visitors.

The proposal is at the forefront in the area of ​​shipping container reuse. The factory-manufactured and on-site installation model and its eco-friendly paint have positioned it as one of the lowest-carbon buildings in China. The paint provides a better defense against corrosion and has less carbon use, releasing very few harmful gases into the environment. The hotel mixes tourism and industry, local culture and the standardization of the shipping container, characteristics that make it a unique hotel that seeks to promote the development of this new tourist area in Changzhi City.

3 Story 2 Bedroom Shipping Container Elevated House, Brazil

Drawings/Floor plans
About Casa Container Marília - Arquitetura

Project: The Hanging House
Architects: Casa Container Marília
Area: 257 m² (2766 ft²)
Containers: 6
Bedrooms: 2
Stories: 3
Year: 2019
Location: Campos Novos Paulista, Brazil
Photographs: Celso Mellani
Suppliers: Gerdau Corsa, Saint-Gobain, AutoDesk, Docol, Lumion
Architect In Charge: Daniel Assuane Duarte
Responsible Architect: Daniel Assuane Duarte, Nadia Barros Assuane
Project Team: Daniel Assuane Duarte, Nadia Barros Assuane
Engineering: Casa Container Marília
Collaborators: Cocchi Engenharia

The Hanging House was named because it is elevated from the natural ground level of the site where it was located. This is because this 2 bedroom shipping container house is surrounded by native trees, so the windows are level with the treetops and the balconies blend with the branches. In addition, the soil remains original, preserving drainage and root dynamics, which were not impaired because the minimum of concrete was used in the foundations. The premise of the project was a country house that was integrated with the local ecosystem, with sustainability and recyclability. For this reason, the construction system with recycled shipping containers was adopted. In total, 80% of the materials are recycled. Internally, demolition wood predominates on the walls and ceiling. Green roof with reuse of rainwater, thermal and acoustic insulation are also the highlights of the house.

The purpose of occupying the property is as a country house. Internally, we favor the common areas of the 3 story shipping container house, living spaces, leisure and balconies. In total there are two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The shipping container elevated house has no television or wifi system. To inhabit it, the rule is to disconnect and enjoy what nature and family life provide. Two wooden deck balconies provide interaction with native trees and fantastic views of rural Campos Novos Paulista, Brazil.

The implantation of the 3 story shipping container elevated house under the trees provides shade throughout the day, and the local winds combined with the wall insulation system provide excellent thermal comfort within the residence.

Metal pillars make the support of the house. The "v" system provides concrete savings and base area by generating a single base for two supports. The foundations are shallow because the weight of the house is relatively light and the ground is firm.

The green roof is of the modular type, which makes maintenance easy. It has a rainwater storage system to minimize the need for irrigation. This system provides greater thermal comfort inside the 2 bedroom shipping container elevated house and integrates it even further with nature.

The internal divisions are made of demolition wood. In addition to being a recycled material, it avoids the use of internal paint, since it already has its own finish. All the walls of the 2 bedroom shipping container house are insulated with a thermoacoustic blanket for greater thermal comfort. The environments have cross ventilation and wide openings for air exchange and thermal comfort. The 3 story shipping container house does not have an air conditioning system and remains pleasant even on the hottest days in São Paulo. The internal doors of the first floor of the shipping container house are made with reused plates from the cutouts of the containers, minimizing excess material.

The final residue of the work was reused in 70%, basically summarized in remains of wood and steel.