5 Creative Uses for Shipping Containers You Wouldn’t Believe!

When you think of shipping containers, you might picture a plain old, steel container. You would think equipment containers are only utilized for shipping large amounts of goods overseas or the typical storage and transporting uses. However, you will never believe the incredible structures people have created! Transformed from something that people typically wouldn’t want to see displayed in an everyday setting, you won’t believe your eyes when you can’t recognize these shipping containers anymore!


Cost-effective and easily accessible, shipping containers make an ideal accessory to create some of the most amazing projects, made from just small ideas but even bigger imaginations!

Vacation Retreat

If you’re building something from shipping containers, why not construct a vacation home someplace far, far away you can escape to for a nice getaway, right? Say, in the middle of the forest or beach? Much more affordable than buying or renting out a hide-out location, shipping containers are made from very durable material, perfect for constructing walls for the perfect retreat.

Image via 1Kindesign

The Coromandel beach home in New Zealand is a flawless, holiday home container creation for the ultimate mental relaxation, designed by Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects. This amazing beach house was built next to the relaxing waters, capturing an unbelievable view! With sliding front and back doors, it becomes an experience that keeps you in touch with the beauty of nature. It makes the ideal lay out porch during the day and a comfy, romantic lair at night.

Images via 1Kindesign


While shipping containers are designed to be portable items, why not put them on wheels, make it your own hangout spot for you and your friends, and go anywhere you desire? With already many containers on-the-go (a.k.a. trucks and boats), these designers took the idea of traveling to a whole new level! You won’t believe your eyes when you see this… shipping container?

touring container

Image via Inhabitat

Lvshe Design created this on-the-move shipping container, Jike Idea, that seems to be the real-life Transformer. Convertible into a tea house, pavilion, or movie theater, this awesome container on wheels takes designers on tours across China. While looking forward to their next showcase, these designers can relax and enjoy themselves on this modern, fun shipping container tour!


You might be thinking: “What in the world is a container city? That is not possible!” You’d be surprised at what England’s beautiful capital did. While many houses and buildings are built from shipping containers, the city of London holds Container City homes.

Image via Topics on Earth

Container City provides trendy and affordable renting space for a wide range of uses that is innovative and highly versatile. Brought out by Urban Space Management Ltd, Container City recycles industrial shipping containers to link and stack them together, providing high strength, prefabricated steel modules. With many different shapes and sizes of these containers, people have the freedom to utilize their building space suiting their needs.

Container City has successfully created classrooms, office space, sports halls, nurseries, community centers, artist studios, retail space, live/work space, sound recording studios, and other general uses!

The Electric Hotel toured all over the UK.

The Dunraven School was built part of the Building Schools for the Future project.

The Riverside Building provides office space overlooking the Thames River.

Images via Container City

To view more about these projects, click on the link provided.


Safety, safety, safety! Underground bunkers have been built to create great safe havens for homes and buildings. With modifications and safety precautions, shipping containers can become protective underground shelters for natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or any unplanned attacks.

Container walls are designed to endure extreme conditions; however, the steel roofs are not made to last long under heavy loads. So proper provisions must be considered before these can easily turn from a safe-place to a disaster itself!

Image via Shanghai Metal Corporation

Image via SW Mobile Storage

Image via Shanghai Metal Corporation

Pop-Up Restaurants and Shops

Why wait for customers to find you, when you can find them? Turning heads and engaging the average eye, pop-up restaurants and retail space is a fun, chic, and modern way to repurpose the normal use of shipping containers!

For an easy and inexpensive way to start a new business that travels in different locations to get their name out or just providing a fresh display to promote your brand, these pop-up shops take on this new trend in an exciting way!

Images via Boxman Studios

At the 2012 Boston Marathon, Adidas had customers flocking to their shipping container stand with their not-so-average street display.

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