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By Clive Smith 3 months ago

Shipping Container Homes | From Living in a Box, to Luxury Builds

Shipping Container Homes | From Living in a Box, to Luxury Builds

Shipping container architecture is nothing new but has gained in popularity in recent years sparked by an increased demand for eco friendly housing. Shipping containers tick the boxes of sustainability, affordability and additionally, (perhaps crucially), are now considered hip - being utilised for everything from funky pop up bar venues to cool inner city eateries and even iconic art installations.

Alternate uses of shipping containers | BSPC Removalists  

Pretzel Perth - this shipping container has been up-cycled into a fully relocatable pretzel bakery in the heart of the cultural centre, Perth

A short history of the shipping container

The humble shipping container is so ubiquitous these days, it’s easy to forget that the shipping container is a relatively modern addition to the world. Just 60 years ago, there was no shipping container industry until an American businessman named Malcolm McLean developed the modern intermodal shipping container which revolutionised and standardised the shipping industry. You can read more about that here!

Today it is estimated that there is over 24 million shipping containers in the world and it is becoming increasingly common to see them utilised for projects other than the transportation of goods by sea. As self pack removalists, shipping containers are a vital part of our container removals business. They ensure the success of our business model for many of the same reasons they are successful for sea transport:

     Standardised - ease of transport on trains and trucks

     Strong sturdy design - waterproof and secure

     Versatile - easily stored, stacked and moved

Shipping container architecture

And just as in the sea shipping and home moving industries, shipping containers are successful in the home building industry for many of the same reasons. Being prefabricated, they are essentially building blocks that are ready to go. The sky really is the limit in how far you can go with your design. From a basic structurally unmodified home made from one shipping container through to a multi-million dollar architecturally designed masterpiece utilising numerous shipping containers, the scope of housing that can be creating by these steel boxes is limitless.

Granny flat in a box

In northern New South Wales, a company called Container Build Group is constructing container homes and cabins from shipping containers. From modest home studios using just one 20ft container through to architecturally designed homes built from up to 14 containers, they can make your container home dream become a reality. 

Shipping containers as homes | BSPC Removalists 

A one room 20ft container is perfect for a guest room, home studio or play room in your garden

The "Joshua Tree" residence

In 2018 a project is planned for installation into the harsh landscape of the Californian desert. Named the Joshua Tree residence, the architecturally designed home is a new level of originality in shipping container home design. The 2,150-square-foot home will be constructed entirely from shipping containers designed to resemble a blooming flower in the desert. Additionally the home is earmarked to be powered solely by solar panels making it even more eco-friendly.

Joshua Tree Home | Budget Self Pack Containers 

The "Joshua Tree" home - a blooming flower of a home in the Californian desert

Shipping container stack in Brooklyn

One family looking for an alternative home  certainly achieved something extraordinary by using shipping containers to form their stacked home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The building brief was a unique home on a corner lot of a urban street and the architect firm LOT-EK took on the challenge. Containers are stacked 3 wide and 2 long, 3 high at the front and 2 high at the back, and then sections are sliced off the lower back of the container stack to create an angled slope down the building., concealing external platforms on each level. The finished home is striking, original and truly inspiring architecture which given that it is constructed from steel boxes will definitely stand the test of time.

Brooklyn shipping container home outside | BSPC Removalists     Brooklyn shipping container home interior | BSPC Removalists 

Stacked container home in Brooklyn, NYC

Image Sources:



Container Build Group

Pretzel Perth