Archive for February, 2012

Shipping container homes – beauty of beast?

From the Gainesville Sun comes  a story that I’ve often asked myself – do shipping container homes look a little, well – ugly.

The story reports on Tom Fox who has built a shipping container home (three level an constructed from 12 containers).  Yes of course there are some great example of some beautiful container homes (check out the ones on this site for example) – but you can’t get away from thinking they look a little boxy.

The piece raises an interesting question about how well container homes fit with a normal neighbourhood – which is a good debate

From the article:

Janie Williams, a former president of the Porters neighborhood association, calls it an “eyesore.”

“I don’t think that it is a part of the neighborhood,” Williams said. “The houses that are here, it is just out of place. And right now, with it not being painted and everything, it’s really an eyesore.

“However, I think that as far as the mechanics of it, as far as being a LEED house, and it has all the inner structure of lighting and being able to maintain its own energy, a solar system and everything, that’s all well and good,” Williams said. “But it just doesn’t fit in the neighborhood.”

Here’s a pic of the site – we’d love to hear what you think – (that’s what our comments section is for!!!).

Here’s one that’s a little left field….

In alot of our posts we discuss the beauty that is shipping container homes – we’ve shown you some great examples too -but we came across this story – that we found courtesy of who write about a recent shipping container project involving the building or a toilet block from shipping containers.


New facilities have been planted at the Bowl of Brooklands to replace a toilet block destroyed by fire last week.

The unisex toilet, which was installed a week ago, is a retrofitted shipping container painted a fetching forest green.

Earlier this month, firebugs torched the toilet block at the northern entrance to the TSB Bowl of Brooklands.

While the destroyed toilet block had about a 10 toilets the new container houses only three.

Pukekura Park curator Chris Connolly said the toilet situation for Womad would not be a problem because organisers would get more.

The shipping container would be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and cleaned regularly, he said.


A novel approach – we can understand that in utilizing shipping containers they get a rapid build time – but we can’t help but snigger a little at the subject matter!…If your interested the shipping container toilet blocks come from entrepreneur Wayne Eustace, who has been retrofitting containers for about 10 years and cost around $8000 and $15,000 (new zealand dollars that is).  Head on over to the article at for the full skinny…


http://www.chron.comn have a truly inspiring piece on how Christchurch in New Zealand are recovering their town from recent earthquakes.  Back in September 2010 – an earthquake measuring 7.1 hit the NZ city  this caused some minor damage but it was the follow up ‘quake back in Feb 2011 which resulted in over 180 deaths and wide spread destruction of local buildings.

More than 900 buildings in the district are tagged for demolition and, possibly, to never be rebuilt; 6,000 structures in the region are red-tagged; and the relatively new AMI Stadium, the outlet for rabid rugby pride, will probably have to be demolished.

Given the task ahead its unsurprising to think that the local residents looked for opportunities to get themselves ahead of the build time associated with traditional property builds – businesses looked to rapidly recover the situation and have initially opted for a mall constructed with shipping containers allowing them to trade within weeks rather than months.

“I believe we’ll still have a lot of that English heritage, but that we will be a very modern city,” said Mark Gilbert, owner of Hassle-Free Tours. “It’s not going to happen overnight. We want to make sure it will be done in the right way.”

Some of it will be done with bricks and cement, some with shipping containers. Either way, while sitting among the bustling, vibrant “new” City Mall, it was clear: Unlike the pills at the drugstore just blocks away, Christchurch itself doesn’t appear to have an expiration date.

Head over to the site (link above) to check out the full range of photographs which include this fantastic 2 shipping container cafe.

Shipping container market has a great piece on an upcoming shipping container market in DC.


Modeled on Brooklyn’s Dekalb Market and designed by Schlesinger Associate Architects, Fairgrounds will use salvaged shipping containers as retail spaces for vendors, in a program overseen by Diverse Markets Management, the people behind the flea market across from Eastern Market and the downtown holiday market. DMM touts a database of more than 2,000 vendors that it says it will tap into to “keep the market busy and diversified.”

While container malls/markets are nothing new we love the idea of local artists decorating the containers to make them look more – well – interesting.  Container homes often get criticised for their external appearance so we love this idea.

As you can see from the plans above – they have some real neat ideas and it will be an interesting one to watch – for more check out the full article

Shipping container guest house

After our recent posts about other types of shipping container buildings, from drive thru starbucks through to underground container bunkers you could be forgiven for thinking we’d taken our eye of the fact you can build homes with these things too! – well we’re glad to report on this little beauty courtesy of’s recent post on a guest house built from shipping containers.

While its not particularly huge this container house by Poteet Architects shows how a simple concept can be executed with style given a little planning -

Utilizing only one container to build the guest house we love the simple but effective lighting and the decking area.

Check out the whole feature by following the link here -


While here at your shipping container home we tend to look at how you can build your ideal home using shipping containers we’re not averse to looking at things a little differently – and this is a real great example!!

The video below shows a 20ft shipping container turned into an underground shelter – while burying your container does seem to be a little extreme – it does show how….ahem…..versatile these containers can be.

We’d love to know what you think – fire us some comments below!

High Tech Shipping Container Home has a great feature on Patrick Partouche “Maison Container”.   Built from 8 shipping containers and featuring what you might call a rough and ready looking exterior the killer is the absolutely stunning interiors.  Patrick has really created something here that shows off what can be done with container living and whilst this comes at a price (and I think a hefty one!) it shows that with a bit of creativity and planning you can pull off something truly wonderful.

It’s funny but the exterior (shown above) doesnt quite match the boldness of the interiors but you can sure tell what he used for his basic construction with the familiar shapes and lines that only a shipping container provides!

Be sure to click the link above to look at the full photo set – you wont be disappointed.



A ‘shipping container home’ within a home shows off a really interesting concept – a home within a home.  With the owners industrial sized loft appartment

The couple faced one major issue: how to add a guest bedroom / office without disrupting the flow of the space. Solution? Shipping containers! After finding and prepping the containers, the two crates were crane-lifted into the apartment through the roof, with the blue “office” container stacked atop the orange guest room.

All too often here on we focus on how to build a new home from containers so adding a room in a pre-existing home appealed due to it being different.  What appeals as well is the minimalistic approach.  While many people that use containers for homes attempt to disguise the fact that they’ve used containers – Jeff Wardell’s approach is different – there’s no disguising the raw material here but we’re loving the fantastic use of space – just look at what they’ve crammed in there – and while the styling may not appeal to everyone (to me it looks a little cold or raw) you have to admire what’s been produced.

January round up of shipping container home news

With Christmas out of the way January was a bit of a quiet month in the world of container homes – however there was still some interesting titbits.


1/ Starbucks open a container store:

Stabucks opened up a container store over in Seattle – while you could argue that its more a proof of concept (or marketing gimmick) and its not the best looking container property its still an interesting idea and follows on from many of the container stores idea’s that we’ve seen previously. has a nice piece on it and an interesting quote from a starbucks spokesperson -

Starbucks spokesman Alan Hilowitz told the New York Times that the eco-friendly concept may lead to more container stores (not to be confused with The Container Store). It will also be one of a kind for another reason, the first “among the 17,000 Starbucks stores globally in that it will be drive-up and walk-up only with no space to lounge inside.”


2/ Sustainblog has a nice piece on using shipping containers for factories in particular fuel charcoal production – following an interview with CEO of re:char Jason Aramburu, it really does pose some interesting ideas on what the future of shipping container use could be.

3/ Grace over at blogs about a fabulous cabin made out of, yes you guessed it, a shipping container.  It’s a great example of what can be achieved – is not overly complicated but killer effective – there’s a series of fantastic photo’s and a floor plan to inspire you.

4/ shows off stacked shipping containers used to show off wares at Berlin’s  Bread & Butter Berlin (BBB) trade show.

The shipping containers were stacked on top of one another, in an industrial-looking setup that blended with the warehouse setting. The D.O.C.K exhibit was by the Sport & Street section and featured brands like TokykioDreamTeamMutewatchSebago, and Waiting for the Sun

So that’s our brief round up for January 2012 – be sure to check back soon for more picks on shipping container home news.