TOP 10 shipping container structures of 2014




originally only used to transport cargo across the globe, shipping containers were so cheap to manufacture that it was economically more viable to leave them at the freight’s destination, rather than to return or reuse them. consequently, the last few years have seen architects and designers repurpose the steel enclosures, utilizing their flexible and adaptable nature, which means that they can be constructed almost anywhere. cheap, lightweight, and readily available, designboom’s TOP 10 shipping container structures of 2014 includes a range of imaginative and inventive uses for the modular units.






tagus linear park in portugal

TOP 10 shipping container structures of 2014 designboom
image © joão morgado




the ‘tagus linear park’ in portugal provides a variety of recreational outdoor spaces for the community of póvoa de santa iria. as part of the development atelier difusor de arquitectura reused a group of shipping containers to form a service building for the site. a wood-slat rain screen shades the metal structures to provide internal comfort. the facility includes a variety of outdoor spaces, including upper and lower balconies, as well as a breezeway.






mill junction silos in johannesburg

TOP 10 shipping container structures of 2014 designboom
image © citiq




in february, we reported on property developers citiq who had converted unused grain silos in johannesburg into affordable student accommodation. ‘mill junction’ comprises 375 individual apartments, in addition to a host of study facilities, libraries, lounges and computer rooms. in order to provide additional floor space, a series of stacked shipping containers encompass the 11-storey silos, providing a vibrant and colorful addition the city’s skyline.






the container bar by north arrow studio

TOP 10 shipping container structures of 2014 designboom
image © north arrow studio




located in austin, texas, ‘the container bar’ by north arrow studio in collaboration with hendley | knowles design studio has been constructed using recycled shipping containers. offering a variety of experiences within the one venue, the re-purposed units are arranged to provide both open and enclosed spaces. the double-height bar area is covered by a floating roof structure, which not only ensures protection from the weather, but also helps to frame the courtyard with surrounding trees.






AUDI’s shipping container scoreboard

TOP 10 shipping container structures of 2014 designboom
image © AUDI




for the 2014 foootball world cup, AUDI built a giant scoreboard displaying scores on a structure made from 28 audi A8 models and 45 shipping containers. the digital clusters that display numerals on the 40-foot digital installation are made up entirely from the LED headlights of the featured vehicles. visible from miles away, the towering structure broadcasted match results live throughout the global event.






CC4441 by tomokazu hayakawa architects

TOP 10 shipping container structures of 2014 designboom
image © tomokazu hayakawa architects




earlier this year, tomokazu hayakawa architects configured two shipping containers to create a small mixed-use building on a corner in the torigoe district of tokyo. the irregular composition on the site distinguishes the structure from its context, while openness to the outside promotes connectivity with the active downtown area. at the ground level, one of the 12 meter volumes is split and separated, housing flexible gallery spaces for public access. a second pod is stacked atop, containing a small office.






hive-inn by OVA studio

TOP 10 shipping container structures of 2014 designboom
image © OVA studio




the ‘hive-inn’ is a conceptual hotel structure designed by hong-kong-based OVA studio that allows containers to travel in and out of it. offering maxi­mum flexibility and mobility, the project envisions possibilities for applications such as emergency housing or medical care units. the rooms can be shipped to whatever location is required and used for multiple functions such as offices, leased to various individuals or companies who temporarily need space.






trumpe cadde comercial center by GAD architecture

TOP 10 shipping container structures of 2014 designboom
image © alp eren




atop the trump tower in mecidiyeköy, istanbul, international studio GAD architecture created a miniature master plan utilizing modular shipping containers and terraces. organized over two levels, a series of paths of different sizes cut through and organize the individual structures housing 25 carefully-chosen commercial units and gardens, likened to a modern-day bazaar.






dwell by G-pod

TOP 10 shipping container structures of 2014 designboom
image © G-pod




building upon their lineage of easily deployable structures made from shipping containers, the hong kong and australia based business G-pod has developed the self-sufficient and transportable home ‘dwell’. the pod employs a combination of patented pull-out sections and a large fold-down deck to offer three times the amount of usable space. the design is focused on environmentally conscious living, and operates off power grids and water mains.






royal wolf HQ by room 11

TOP 10 shipping container structures of 2014 designboom
image © ben hosking




this year, australian practice room 11 completed the melbourne headquarters of royal wolf – a specialist in the hire, sale and modification of new and refurbished shipping containers. appropriately, the workplace is built entirely from the steel units, utilizing the fabrication and construction methods employed by the organization. the scheme repurposes the enclosed volumes as a series of connected light-filled rooms interspersed with areas of plantation. offices and reception areas are articulated around a central courtyard, while the meeting room, kitchen and principal offices are linked to further external enclosures.






morphed kiosks by NL architects

TOP 10 shipping container structures of 2014 designboom
image © NL architects




to catalyze an already vibrant public area – the spaces surrounding the zaha hadid-designed dongdaemun design plaza in seoul, south korea – ten studios have been invited to conceive kiosk structures to house various activities. included in this group is the dutch office NL architects, whose approach morphs the basic shipping container type through a range of diverse operations to provide increased functionality and specificity.