In the summer of 2022, shipping container conversions will arguably have their biggest spotlight to date.

One of the stadia set to be used for this year’s FIFA World Cup, Stadium 974 is predominantly constructed out of the shipping containers that contained the materials used for the roof, seats, pitch and the rest of the facilities.

It is the first stadium in the history of the football championship to be demountable and highlights the ambitious sustainability benefits found when ambitious architects take the material to its absolute limits.


Urban Rigger

Given that shipping containers are designed to sail along the Suez Canal and through the seas and oceans of the world, it is perhaps fitting that Urban Rigger designed a ring of nine stacked shipping containers floating in Copenhagen Harbour.

Designed with what architects BIG described as “the principles of LEGO”, the result is a circle of 12 studio apartments with a central communal garden space floating on the waters.


Carroll House

Brooklyn, New York is home to some of the most unique pieces of architecture in the world, but even amidst such unique neighbours, Carroll House stands out.

Built from 21 shipping containers stacked together, the building was notable cut at an angle, giving it a striking look that allows for a mix of practicality, a stark aesthetic and a private outdoor space at each level of the house.


Hughes Hall Porters Lodge

Cambridge University is one of only a handful of universities with semi-autonomous colleges, each of which has its own facilities, amenities, culture and porter’s lodge.

For the longest time, Hughes Hall was the only college at the prestigious university without a porter’s lodge, and this was fixed in a rather cosy and efficient way.

Local architecture studio Neubau converted a single 20-foot container into a reception and porter’s lodge that maximised its capabilities by having post pigeonholes, a visitor’s reception and a porter’s office.

The result is a building that is equal parts compact, turnkey and perfectly formed.


Starbucks, Hualien City

The highly popular Seattle-based coffee shop has a very particular aesthetic, filled with muted greens, natural wood and a relatively uniform design.

One of the biggest exceptions to this was their Taiwanese branch, which is built entirely from recycled shipping containers stacked up to four floors of cantilevered containers, each one replacing the doors with full-height windows.

Given that Hualien City also features the world’s largest tile mural, the use of recycled, sustainable shipping containers is a fitting and appropriate choice for the area.


MicroTower Parking Booth

Based in a car park in Columbus, Ohio, Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design (JBAD) wanted to create a fitting landmark for an often-overlooked part of downtown Columbus.

JBAD’s somewhat inspired solution was to take a 40-foot container, flip it vertically and paint it bright red to create a stunning, eye-catching parking booth that would also serve as a small contribution to the city’s skyline.

It was a design brought about by serendipity; by complete coincidence a 40-foot standard container is the perfect size for a parking attendant booth, containing enough room for them to work.

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