Made from the thousands of surplus containers that sit on docks around the world, shipping container houses can be an eco-friendly alternative to traditional building materials. Diehards love their durability and, in some cases, their portability—although moving a shipping container house can cost a lot of time and money.
To showcase how these industrial workhorses can transform into gorgeous homes, we’ve rounded up the best five shipping container houses that we reported on this year. Interested in buying one yourself? Don’t miss our guide to five shipping container homes you can order right now or check out this shipping container that’s available on Amazon.
A shipping container house in the desert
Measuring 2,969 square feet, this three-bedroom, four-bath home was designed by engineer Jorge Salcedo and Colombian architect Gregorio Baquero around two stacks of shipping containers with an expansive area in the middle. The first floor features a large, four-car industrial level workshop—with electric vehicle charging—while the upper floors house the living spaces. The house sits at an angle in line with the mountain range to the south so that the sprawling front balcony and main room enjoy striking views. Read more, this way.
A light-filled shipping container house that cost just $36K to build
Targeting people who want a backyard unit to use for rental income or anyone looking to use a shipping container as a guesthouse or primary residence, Las Vegas-based Alternative Living Spaces builds luxury shipping containers that maximize on space. Each home starts at $36,000, includes the shipping container, and can be completely customizable. Most units feature a bathroom with shower, a kitchen, some sort of work and dining space, and a living room that converts into a sleeping area. Read more, over here.
A sleek shipping container home in New Jersey
With four bedrooms and three and a half baths, this 4,000-square-foot home was designed by architect Adam Kalkin with an array of upcycled industrial materials.
Constructed in 2008, the home uses several steel shipping containers welded together with CorTen steel beams. Kalkin designed an open-floor plan house, separated by two different wings and linked by a courtyard in between. Glass siders are used throughout to create an airy feel, and the front entrance is a Neoporte pivoting stainless steel door centered in a glass and stainless steel breezeway. See more, over here.
An airy shipping container house rich in glass and greenery
Bandladesh architecture firm River & Rain designed this shipping container house—dubbed Escape Den—as a sophisticated reimagining of the medium. The house is built from four shipping containers arranged at various angles on a steel frame. Each of the containers sits on its own level, creating a series of plant-strewn terraces and stairs that lead from one volume to the next. See more, this way.
A shipping container house with a green roof
This project from Melbourne-based Studio Edwards has perched connected shipping containers on a hillside on the Surf Coast in Wye River, Victoria. Dubbed House 28, the weekend retreat in southeastern Australia was designed with sustainability in mind, incorporating three 20-foot shipping containers sourced from nearby Port Melbourne and set on steel silts anchored in concrete piles. Read more, this way.