7 Amazing Shipping Container Projects from Around the World

Pop Brixton

7 Amazing Shipping Container Projects from Around the World

Shipping containers are getting a lot of attention as the building blocks for innovative and sustainable construction projects, and with good reason — they’re not only a plentiful and inexpensive resource but they have an aesthetic appeal that captures the imagination. What’s exciting to us here at Close to Home is the fact that shipping container construction has been used to:

This is forward thinking at it’s best.

Here is our list of 7 container projects from around the world that we find especially interesting and inspired. Of course, these are only a fraction of the many examples out there. We’d love to hear from our readers about shipping container buildings that you like.


1. 8-Unit Apartment Building – Phoenix

The use of shipping containers enabled the developer to provide rental units in downtown Phoenix for at or below market rate. The apartment complex is made of 16 containers and provides eight one-bedroom (740 sq ft) units. These are some snazzy looking apartments.




2. Starbucks Drive thru – Seattle

Being in a port city where shipping containers are part of the “cityscape”, Starbucks decided (in 2011) to use them for a drive thru/walk-up store in south Seattle. This was their first container store and in 2014 the company built a second one in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.



LV container park
3. “Downtown Container Park” – Las Vegas

Leave it to Vegas to create an eye-popping shopping mall spectacle with shipping containers. Developed by Zappos’ CEO Tony Hsiehs in 2013, Downtown Container Park features restaurants and bars, small local retailers (not your typical big box stores), a 360-degree dome theater and a gigantic fire-spewing praying mantis sculpture. But what, no casino!? Leave that to the Strip. . .

Atira building
4. Atira Apartment building – Vancouver, BC

A shipping container building was the ideal choice for Atira, a Vancouver, BC community services non-profit, that was looking to house residents in small apartments AND save money. A definite Win/Win! BTW, the building is cool and the apartments are gorgeous.




5. Rough Trade Records – NYC

NYC vinyl fans, Rough Trade Records in NYC is the place to go for those long lost Smiths and Sex Pistols albums you replaced with CDs. Check out some interior designs. Unpainted containers cantilever over the massive main floor, playing up the industrial aesthetics of the space. Plus it now houses the Brompton Cafe, with exhibits of the UK’s iconic Brompton bicycle, one of Close to Home’s (that is, Jennifer’s) favorite bikes!


Pop Brixton
6. Pop Brixton – London

A project that’s doing good while looking good! Pop Brixton is a neighborhood community space in London made of shipping containers that showcase everything local: businesses, start-ups, artists, and entrepreneurs. It’s an urban revitalization plan that invests in community talent and skills! Plus, they also provide affordable space for start-ups and small businesses, with 10 units available at 20-50% of market rate.



7. Re:Start Mall – Christchurch, New Zealand

Here’s a great story of post-disaster urban renewal. In 2010, after downtown Christchurch was devastated by an earthquake, the city wanted to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. They decided to build a temporary mall with shipping containers. Residents loved ReStart Mall so much that the city made it a permanent structure. It’s now one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.


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