While most recognise shipping containers as, well, containers used for shipping, there are other ways to incorporate these items once they are no longer needed for their primary purpose.

One of the most popular uses of late for out of commission shipping containers is to build houses with them, but there are more things you can do if you have a shipping container or two laying about. A common problem, clearly.


Starting small, you can create a desk or chair out of pieces of a container, as long as you have the necessary tools to do so. Brazilian company gave the leftover pieces of its containers and to designers in Sao Paulo to create some amazing work.

Swimming pools

Not allowed to dig a deep pool in your yard? Shipping containers can solve that problem with a slightly above ground pool. Perfect for lane swimmers and families alike.


Have a couple shipping containers lying around and no way to cross a river? Build a bridge, the Israelis did to help give people in Tel Aviv access to a national park.


If you’ve ever been to London, there’s a good chance you’ve been to Shoreditch and seen the marketplace made of shipping containers, dubbed Boxpark. New York also has some of these constructions.


Have you been to Wahaca Southbank Experiment in London? It’s a branch of the Mexican food chain built out of, you guessed it, shipping containers. If you don’t believe it, they even created a video about how it was built and decorated.


London has a few of these constructions around, especially in the Docklands. Home to some unique art workshops and offices, they are only reminiscent of their former shapes.

Dormitories for students

Are you a student tired of sharing a crowded living space in an ancient building? Amsterdam found answers to its growing student population in shipping containers, with the Project Keetwonen set to house 1,000 dorm rooms when it is relocated in 2016.


Let’s not stop at workspaces and homes, Urban Space Management has also built a series of classrooms in Southeast England. That’s right, not one, but several schools. This is not just limited to the UK, as shipping containers have been used for school purposes around the world.

Flats and homes

Offices are one thing, but constructing intriguing houses and living spaces out that are mostly pimped out shipping containers is another. And apparently not just fantasy.

In London you can actually live in one of the Container Cities, built out of, you guessed it, shipping containers. Definitely some of the more colourful architecture of London.

Before you decide to build your own flat in response to rent hikes, make sure you read the material on construction and hire a professional.