Beautiful Shipping Container House Concept by Whitaker Studio, California

Shipping container house impresses with containers stacked at various angles.

Floor plan
Architectural model
About Whitaker Studio

Project: Joshua Tree Residence
Architecture: Whitaker Studio
Area: 200 sqm (2,153 square feet)
Bedrooms: 3
Location: Joshua Tree, California

After years with a similar project in hand and without a client in sight, London architect James Whitaker was able to get off the ground and start building a container house - but not just any, made from the well-known metal boxes, simply supported on top of each other. This one took on an unusual shape, being stacked vertically, horizontally, transversely ... alternately until completing a 180ยบ radius on the ground!

This profusion of containers, which appear to have exploded from the ground, was commissioned by a filmmaker and his wife who owned a 36-hectare rocky area of ​​southern California's Joshua Tree National Park. To conceive it, Whitaker imagined a white exoskeleton, which will have its base supported by concrete columns. Thus, the segmented look of the containers can be seen from the outside, but inside there is a slight integration between the environments.

This feature allowed the interior to be extremely lit, as the containers will have part of their top cut out to include glass doors and windows. In this way, it is possible to observe the vastness of the desert and the sky from virtually all sides.

Whitaker Studio explores the formal possibilities of the container with a house in the desert.

Blooming through the California desert, Whitaker Studio's Joshua Tree Residence is taking containerized buildings to the next level. Set to begin construction in 2018, the residence is distributed in a range of containers, each oriented to maximize views, provide abundant natural light or create privacy depending on its location and use.

Situated on a 90-acre site, owned by a Los Angeles film producer, the residence is a reconfiguration of a previous concept created by Whitaker Studio for an office building in Germany that was never realized - a project remembered by a friend of the customer during a recent field trip.

"Earlier this year, my client in Los Angeles visited some friends and, having little time, everyone took a trip to visit the client's site in Joshua Tree," explains studio founder James Whitaker. "While they were there, between the arid landscape and the rocks, one of the friends said," Do you know what would look great here? ". Before opening her laptop and showing everyone a photo she had seen on the internet."

"The image was of an office that I had designed several years ago, but it was never built. And so, the next time the client was in London, he got in touch and asked us to set up a meeting."

This concept was then transposed to the desert site, at the top of a rocky outcrop where a small ravine had been created by precipitated rainwater. The "exoskeleton" of the transport container would be raised on concrete pylons, allowing the water to continue to pass underneath.

Inside the 200 sqm residence there will be a kitchen, living room, dining room and three bedrooms, each filled with natural light and decorated with pieces by designer / architect Ron Arad, Whitaker's former chief. Behind, two containers extend to meet the natural topography, creating a protected outdoor area with a wooden deck and hot tub.

The exterior and interior surfaces will be painted a bright white to reflect the warm desert sunlight. A nearby garage will be covered with solar panels, providing all the energy needed for the house. To make the house a reality, AKT II engineer Albert Taylor provided structural consultancy during the development of the concept.

Cafe Infinity - Shipping Container Restaurant at University Campus, India

Architects create restaurant with recycled containers in India. Built in the shape of the infinity symbol, cafe is a part of university facility.

About RJDL

ProjectCafe Infinity
Area2960 ft²
ClientITS Greater Noida
LocationKnowledge Park III, Greater Noida, India
PhotographsRahul Jain

In search of more sustainable architectural solutions, the RJDL office decided to reduce the use of concrete as much as possible in the construction of the new area of a dental school in Noida, India. The result was a cafe built basically with recycled containers.

Located in the middle of the university campus, Cafe Infinity maintains the industrial aesthetic of the containers, while the interior is a neutral and welcoming place for students, teachers and visitors. Its format lives up to the name and refers to the infinity symbol, comprising two patios of space. The design also emphasizes the infinite possibilities of construction using containers as the main part of the structure.

With 12 meters in length, the containers were preserved to maintain the industrial appearance of the material. The versatility and robustness of the container make it accessible and effective, regardless of location or type of construction. Even blinds made of container doors have been reused, also helping to ventilate the space.

Inside, simple and economical materials appear in the decoration, with furniture made from steel and wood.

Description by architects

Cafe Infinity located at ITS Dental College, Greater Noida is designed to be used as a recreational space for students, faculty and patients alike. The vision was to design a sustainable structure that goes beyond the conventional and pushes the boundaries of design and build form. Recycled shipping container, being a sustainable product, was a perfect fit due to its modularity as well as economic feasibility as compared to the conventional RCC structure. The cafe is designed to stand out due to its form factor, and also in terms of its positioning, breaking the rigidity of the existing site layout. Focusing on the outer structure and containers’ industrial form factor the interior is kept neutral.

The design idea centers around two courtyards which comprises of two cafe outlets in the front ,two dynamic staircases acting as seating and providing access to the viewing decks, services(toilets) at the central container, seating areas for faculty and visitors and a lounge area for students. The seating is focused around the courtyard and provides an ideal view point of the inner courtyards and the outer landscape, which is often utilized for sporting events as well as other activities of the institute.

The organic landscape layout complements the rigid geometry of the containers and provides fluidity to the site circulation. Large glazing of staircases merges the rigid build form with the landscape. The landscape complements the industrial nature of the architecture, but also promotes activity, and consequently, vibrancy to the entirety of the site.

The building is formed with the use of recycled shipping containers (40 feet) that were crafted with the careful consideration to preserve its raw and industrial form. The structure, services and functionality are designed with a focus on sustainability. Passive cooling and insulation is provided with the use of 50 mm Rockwool insulation, gypsum paneling, fiber cement board for rooftop flooring, tinted windows, mechanical cooling, strategic placement of windows and openings to make the building perfectly adequate in the extreme weather conditions of the site. Louvers made of reused shipping container doors located in the south direction minimize the heat gain as well as give privacy from the public hospital adjacent to it while providing the view of the stadium.

The idea of using infinity was conceived to emphasize on the infinite possibilities of using a shipping container as a structural unit, regardless of the building type and site.The flexibility, modularity and sustainability makes shipping containers a perfect alternate to the conventional building structures (RCC), to reduce the overall Carbon footprint while also being an ecologically and economically viable solution.

Shipping Containers Modular Office of a Logistics Company, Hong Kong

It looks like a beach house, but it's an office made with containers. 192 m² office space in Hong Kong has minimalist decor and sustainable solutions.

Floor Plans / Drawings
About A Work of Substance

ProjectGoodman Westlink Office
ArchitectA Work of Substance
Area192.0 m² (2066 ft²)
LocationTuen Mun, Hong Kong
PhotosDennis Lo

It was a time when offices were all the same and bland. This small company in Hong Kong proves that it is possible to combine design, good ideas and sustainability even in small work environments. Here, four containers gave rise to six flexible spaces, which adapt to different situations. Best of all, the place is surrounded by greenery and has the air of home.

The idea belongs to Maxime Dautresme, creative director of A Work of Substance office, responsible for architecture and interior design. He explains that building with containers is a way to celebrate sustainable architecture. Some of the walls received large glass openings, which take the surrounding landscape into the office and flood it with light. The construction can still be transported to another land if necessary, generating minimal impact on the environment. A project that transforms and inspires the work routine every day.

Description by architects

Containers are multifaceted; a strong symbol of a logistics company and a celebrator of sustainable architecture. Its modular construct naturally allowed us to use 4 containers to create 6 different spaces as a marketing suite for Goodman, with the flexibility to adapt to an evolving site. We maximised the opportunity to have extensive glass openings, which allows potential clients to have an overview of the surrounds. The layering of timber and glass softens the features of an inherently industrial product, establishing harmony amongst nature whilst bringing in light and tropical backdrops into the space. At the end, the build can be collapsed and transported, leaving minimal imprint on the original landscape.

Architecture Studio Office in 40 ft Shipping Container Covered with Mirrored Aluminum Panels, Belgium

Architects create container offices in Belgium. One is in the center of Westouter and the other in a rural area surrounded by nature.

Floor plans
About TOOP architectuur

Architects: TOOP architectuur
Containers: 1 x 40 ft
Area: 36 m²
Year: 2019
Location: Westouter, Belgium
Photographs: Tim Van De Velde

The architecture studio TOOP Architectuur needed two new offices in Westouter, Belgium. One in the city center and the other on a rural site close to the mountains of the region.

In the search for an economical work, TOOP professionals chose to invest in shipping containers. The two structures, while maintaining a visual identity for the offices, preserve unique characteristics designed for the place where they were installed.

The first was designed for the city center and has a huge sliding window that reflects and enlarges the garden around it. While the second office in shipping container is covered with mirrored aluminum panels with the intention of disappearing into the landscape.

The two spaces are called 'architectural laboratories' and form the intellectual heart of the office. There, visitors and staff can work together and be inspired by the materials, the surroundings and each other.

The common element that joins the two offices is the interior design that works for both the city environment and the rural area. Covered with low-cost red plywood, which appears as a building material and not as a visual element, architects show visitors the possibility of doing interesting things with accessible materials.

Temporary, Sustainable and Mobile Shipping Container Offices by Arcgency, Copenhagen, Denmark

Luxury Shipping Container House, Royal Oak, Michigan

Construction Process
About ModEco Development
About C3 UP

General ContractorModEco Development
BuilderC3 UP
Containers5x40 ft, 2x20 ft
Area2,350 sq ft
LocationRoyal Oak, Michigan, USA

Description by Zillow

Known around town as the shipping container house, this striking & eco-friendly residence made of 7 steel containers, providing 2,350 sq ft of modern living space. The industrial yet homey interior houses a mix of materials including steel, bamboo floors & exposed ductwork through the open floor plan.

Key features of the home: impressive 2-story living room with a wall of large windows providing ample natural light, a sleek gourmet kitchen, a large island, & a spacious dining area. Additional features of the 1st floor: office space, powder room, and a large laundry room. The 2nd level loft offers access to a relaxing zen garden balcony. A luxurious master suite waits at the end of the hall, complete with a private balcony, large custom walk-in closet, & a spa-like bath. Enjoy summers in the custom cedar-fenced yard just off an oversized 2-car attached garage. One-of-a-kind masterpiece!

Smart house: voice/smart phone controlled lights, thermostat, and more! Cameras all around the property. More efficient home. Cheaper heating and cooling cost. The roof is a commercial grade rubber roof that last forever with maintenance. Perfect blend of aesthetics inspired by high-end lofts, with the comfort of a luxury home.

Description by Realtor

Aaron Schnepp lives in the coolest house in town. That’s one of the reasons why he has to sell it.

The concept car designer and his wife made local headlines last year when they bought a 2,350-square-foot home in Royal Oak, MI. The home was made out of seven shipping containers.

Soon after closing, questions started stacking up for the owners: How much does it cost to heat? How’s your cellphone reception? How loud is it when it rains? The answers: less than a conventional house; great; and it’s a commercial-grade roof, so pretty much what you’d expect.

And they weren’t just getting questions at the grocery store—strangers would peer in the front windows, knock on the door, and ask to look inside. Somebody jumped his fence to check out the backyard. Four people drove up from Pittsburgh, nearly five hours away, to see the house.

Schnepp and his wife listed the house for $550,000 this month. They say they plan to build a second shipping container house in the area, ideally on property with more privacy.

To be fair, the questions from strangers were just a small part of why they’re selling. The main reason is that Schnepp is a designer, so he has a vision for the perfect house, and he’s obsessed with the details.

In the past 17 months, he’s replaced the home’s vinyl siding with wood, built a two-story wooden privacy screen, replaced the staircase and railings, added a dark wood accent wall in the kitchen, and repainted throughout.

The result is a stunning industrial-style house that’s unlike anything on the market in this wealthy Detroit suburb.

But Schnepp’s still not satisfied, and at some point it became easier to think about building from the ground up to exact specifications, rather than continuing to make minor tweaks to the existing house.

“I’m concerned that people are going to think we hate the house. But it’s not that at all; we love it. If the house doesn’t sell, we’ll happily live here for the next 10 years,” Schnepp says. “It’s because I’m so picky. The floor color is light brown, and I want it dark brown. Most people wouldn’t care, but I do.”

Schnepp’s attention to detail is readily apparent in this picture-perfect three-bedroom, 2.5-bath home.

The exterior features wood, metal, and stone. At first glance, the home doesn’t look like it’s made out of shipping containers, given its rich wood and brick accents and large picture windows.

It’s easier to see its maritime transportation origins inside: The living room walls still bear the blue-and-yellow logo of Hong Kong–based Florens, the world’s second-largest container leasing company. The home’s lower level is spare and modern, with frosted-glass entrance doors, dark gray walls, exposed ductwork, and an open-concept kitchen with dark cabinetry and white granite countertops.

Upstairs, the master bedroom is painted dark gray and purple and adorned with a dramatic chandelier. There’s a walk-in closet, a private patio, and a separate Zen garden–inspired balcony. Elsewhere, the home’s backyard has custom cedar fencing, and there's a two-car attached garage.

The house was built by Michigan-based C3 UP, which specializes in shipping container homes and businesses. The company makes tiny container homes that start at $31,500, and full-size shipping container houses like Schnepp’s starting at $125,000.

There are an estimated 17 million shipping containers in existence today. Buying a used container from a reseller starts at around $2,500, depending on size, condition, and location. But a house this cool is practically priceless.

Description by Detroitnews

Dark red steel stretches two stories high inside Aaron and Grace Schnepp’s Royal Oak living room with the company name “Florens” in the upper left corner on one wall and “Caution 9’6” High” below it.

The words tell the story of materials that once lived another life – as 40-foot long shipping containers, hauling cargo back and forth across the ocean.

Now these steel boxes serve another purpose: as the building blocks for the Schnepps’ new home.

Seven steel containers were welded together – six horizontally and one vertically – to create one entirely unique house off Rochester Road just south of 13 Mile. It’s one of the first single family homes made primarily from shipping containers in Metro Detroit, and possibly Michigan.

“I have always wanted a shipping container home but never really thought I would own one,” says Aaron Schnepp, a car stylist who designs concept cars for Chrysler.

Built by contractor Drake Boroja and his team at Washington Township-based ModEco Development, the 2,350- square-foot three-bedroom, 21/2 bath house is the culmination of roughly two years of hard work to design the house, find the right subcontractors, build it and then find the right buyer.

Curious onlookers, meanwhile, have stopped by nearly every day to ask questions. Even now, they sometimes peek in the windows, say Aaron and Grace.

“When we were building this thing, literally every five minutes there were people coming up, asking questions,” says Boroja, who now has several other shipping container projects in the works, including a house in Ferndale. “It was crazy. It was hard to get work done. So we knew that people liked it. The question was would they buy it.”

Though their unique house may not appeal to everyone – Aaron and Grace say some online commenters have been harsh – they love the novelty of their new home.

“I love the juxtaposition between the homey with the raw metal. They vibe off each other so well,” says Aaron.

Aaron and Grace met through friends and married more than a year ago in Korea. For seven years, they lived in an industrial-style loft in Royal Oak. Finally ready to buy a home and start a family, the couple again wanted an industrial style house, but finding one was hard.

Driving by the shipping container house nearly every day on his way to the gym, Aaron loved it, but was certain it was out of the couple’s price range. So he was surprised when it was listed in November and it wasn’t. Within hours, he made an offer, even though Grace, a product specialist for Toyota who works at auto shows across the world, was out of town.

“He was sending me pictures, texting me and calling me,” says Grace. “I never saw it in person. Obviously I was a little nervous.”

But now they’re both sold.

“We wanted something industrial, but we wanted a house,” says Aaron. “And we wanted something we could grow into... This solved that because it’s got the loft aesthetic with a home. It’s cozy. For us it couldn’t be any better.”

The house, which has a surprisingly open concept, flows from the front foyer to the living room, kitchen and dining area. It is a mix of materials – steel, bamboo floors, and exposed duct work.

Aaron loves the juxtaposition of materials, something he and Grace, who moved in in mid-January, plan to continue to play up in their decor. Much of their furniture is from Restoration Hardware.

Boroja first discovered shipping container housing six years ago. He contemplated building a shipping container house for his own family, but couldn’t find a contractor. “They said no. You’re crazy,” says Boroja.

Instead he and his partners at ModEco decided to build a house to sell. The project had its share of hiccups. Picking up old shipping containers at the Detroit riverfront, they discovered they could only get one container at a time, even though they rented a crane for a day to stack them.

“We had to find a tow truck company that had space that they would then pick up the containers over time,” says Boroja. “And when they had them all, then we could schedule the crane.”

The house originally was designed to be wider, but it had to be modified because “we couldn’t get the crane around. That was a huge issue,” says Boroja.

But now that it is finished, it’s built to last, says Boroja. He says the appeal of shipping container housing is that it is cheaper to build, cheaper to maintain, and energy-efficient. The shipping containers are coated with a special ceramic coating so they don’t sweat.

“We learned a lot from this house,” says Boroja. “It’s built strong, it’s not going anywhere. When the apocalypse hits, it’s going to be the last thing standing.”

Aaron and Grace, meanwhile, continue to put their touch on their new house. They plan to paint several rooms, replace the vinyl siding outside with cedar and do landscaping. “We have so much more work to do,” says Grace.

The couple, who paid $430,000 for the house, which they say is less than what similar size houses are selling for in Royal Oak, acknowledge some may question their decision, but they don’t.

“When you drive around, you can’t find a house like this,” says Aaron.

Grace agrees: “This was the perfect house for us.”

Sugoroku Office - Shipping Container Architecture Studio, Japan

Mobile frame
About Daiken-Met Architects

ArchitectsDaiken-Met Architects
ProjectSugoroku Office
Area111 m2
Building footprint area49 m2
ConstructionNakamura Construction Company
LocationGifu, Japan

The Japanese office Daiken-Met Architects has recently built the Sugoroku Office, its architecture studio in Gifu, Japan. A mobile frame, compatible with stacked containers, forms the work areas and living spaces on the top floor.

This shipping container office represents a temporary structure model that does not require foundations below street level. The structural steel frame can be easily mounted and serves to reduce loads on the shells of the shipping containers.

The land is leased and at the end of the lease, the structure can be dismantled and rebuilt elsewhere. The storage systems were built with reused plywood or recycled packaging strips from other buildings under construction.

Description from Inhabitat

Daiken-Met Architects: “In the local city, we are facing various problems such as decreasing population, increasing vacant land, on the other hand it is difficult to make a rental contract for small buildings.” Because of this, they decided to build their own office and obtained a short-term rental contract for a small parcel of land where they could set up their temporary office. As part of their lease agreement, they proposed an architectural design and agreed to remove and reconstruct it every few years.

The Sugoroku Office is built from seven stacked shipping containers on three levels with two spaces left open for balconies. A mobile steel frame serves as the foundation – it provides support for the containers while reducing the structural load placed on them. Circulation routes are installed on the outside of the containers to provide access all the way up to the 3rd floor. The frame and containers can easily be dismantled, removed and rebuilt whenever necessary. The interiors of the containers are finished with used plywood or packing bands from a construction site.

Hoonigan Racing HQ Shipping Container Office, Park City, Utah

About Hoonigan Racing Division

ProjectHoonigan Racing Division Headquarters (Monster Energy Rally Race Car Headquarters)
ArchitectNumen Development
Area12,000 square foot
LocationPark City, Utah

Description from Ken Block's Race Team

Ken Block first opened the doors of his race team headquarters in 2012. Located near his home in the Wasatch Mountains of Park City, Utah, the revolutionary facility — graced with Block’s creative instincts and attention to detail — redefines what a race team’s shop can actually be. This world-class workspace is built of recycled shipping containers decorated with the familiar Monster Energy green color as well as Block’s signature cyan blue and the storied memorabilia of past race events and special projects.

Having been involved with the leasing and building of office space for other companies like DC Shoes, I wanted to avoid the inflexibility of constructing a space made of lumber and sheetrock walls,” said Ken Block. “Using recycled shipping containers as the building blocks for the Hoonigan Racing Division headquarters is not only more environmentally friendly, but it gives us the flexibility to add more infrastructure and the ability to pack the entire facility onto trucks if we ever needed to relocate. It also provides a unique element to work with that is visually stunning and really adds to the creative environment of the space. I honestly could not be more stoked on the finished product.”

The 12,000 square foot facility is divided evenly into two spaces. One side consists of a creative office space, capable of housing up to 25 employees, with separate marketing and administration departments. The other side is a top-level workshop for servicing the team’s race vehicles.

“When setting out to design the Hoonigan Racing Division Headquarters, I wanted to build a fun and inspirational creative space that would not only reset the industry standard for a motorsports facility, but also have a place that rivaled the modern workspaces of top ad agencies,” said Block. “I need a place where our whole team—from the marketing staff to the technicians—can be inspired and enjoy working in everyday. So aside from the standard office needs, we made sure to build in some fun; from a ping pong table to a full entertainment area with its own bar. But, I also wanted the other side of the headquarters—the workshop—to have the feel and functionality of a World Rally Championship-level facility like M-Sport or Prodrive. I think we achieved all my goals with this facility!”

In addition to utilizing 17 recycled shipping containers to construct a reusable workspace, other recycled, reused and sustainable materials were used where possible in the construction of the headquarters.

2 Bedroom Airbnb Orange Shipping Container Home, Colorado

OwnerTommy Lorden
LocationSalida, Colorado, United States

This orange shipping container home is located just 2 miles from vibrant and beautiful downtown Salida, Colorado. Nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, kick back in style as you gaze across at the Collegiate Peaks - with the highest concentration of 14’ers in the State.

There are many ways to use shipping containers, from classic urban farms to modern off-the-grid getaways to automatic all-in-one swimming pools. Each one of those projects is made from a surplus shipping container unit and upcycled into a completely brand new structure or building, and they are often praised as a modern eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to traditional construction methods and building materials.

Often construction process connected with shipping containers looks so exciting and we love watch how shipping container units are transformed into modern livable spaces or any other buildings, and the latest to cross our desk is this beautiful two-bedroom and two-bathroom bright orange home in Colorado. Designed and built by Tommy Lorden, Boulder real estate agent, as a vacation Airbnb rental property, the bright orange shipping container house uses two 40 ft shipping containers side by side and features comfortable decor and clean lines.

Some shipping container homes include industrial in the interior decor, with a bit of traditional farmhouse details, but this interior looks to the 1950s - 60s for decor inspiration. Tommy Lorden owns a classic midcentury home, and he wanted to build an overhanging roof construction and add a large deck for convenient outdoor-indoor living.

A transparent glass railing used to maximize beautiful views of the mountains, and the owner wanted for an entry staircase location the side of the shipping container so as leave the sight lines not interrupted. Inside, the shipping container house features plywood walls with midcentury-inspired design, white counters and cabinets. The orange color scheme allows the Big Chill retro fridge to use an aqua blue color, and the bedrooms connect to the expansive deck through sliding glass doors.