Converting a shipping container

Discover endless possibilities

While shipping containers have long been used for freight and logistics, the last few years or so have really seen a boom in alternative uses for the crates – and some of the projects that have sprung up have been really quite impressive indeed.

One of the most popular alternative uses for containers is turning them into living spaces… and this has become such a common application for them that the practice has even evolved to have its own name – cargotecture!

The shape of containers makes them perfectly suited to being repurposed into buildings and doing so can be significantly cheaper than using bricks and mortar, no doubt why this is such a popular project for many.

In fact, shipping container villages are constantly popping up here, there and everywhere these days because the containers are so ideal for this particular application. In Manchester, for example, charity Embassy is in the process of establishing a new Embassy Village made up of 40 new modular homes made from repurposed shipping containers.

The idea is to provide safe and secure homes for homeless people to help them get back on their feet, with the new village being situated in the city centre beneath the railway arches between the Bridgewater Canal and the River Irwell.

As well as homes, shipping containers have also been used as retail outlets – and perhaps the most famous of them all is Boxpark Shoreditch in London. The site first opened back in 2011 as the world’s first pop-up shopping mall, one that was made exclusively from repurposed shipping containers.

Units are leased to traders so that business owners are able to set their own lengths of term at Boxpark, with each container retrofitted to their own style and specification.

Shipping containers have also been used extensively to create more living space at home and many people choose to turn them into offices so they can keep work and home life separate – something that has become increasingly important over the last year or so, as a result of the pandemic.

Other more innovative ideas for these containers include swimming pools, a popular idea because they’re so easy to waterproof. They’ve also been used as schools and classrooms, as well as emergency hospital facilities during disasters and emergency shelters. Restaurants and diners are also popular options for conversion projects, while others have chosen to turn them into beautiful pop-up bars.

As you can see, there are all sorts of amazing ways in which these containers can be transformed and, ultimately, the only limit is your imagination! If you’d like to find out more about shipping container conversions and want some expert help and advice, get in touch with the team here at Pentalver to see what we can achieve together.

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