Not just for resourceful squatters, container architecture is taking the world by storm. Recycled freight containers bring efficiency, flexibility and affordability to innovative green buildings, from small vacation cabins to movable cafes, schools and skyscrapers.
Invented more than five decades ago, the modern shipping container is the linchpin in our global distribution network of products. In the containers go toys from China, textiles from India, grain from America and cars from Germany. In go electronics, chocolate and cheese.
While a number of resourceful people have converted shipping containers to makeshift shelters at the margin of society for years, architects and green designers are also increasingly turning to the strong, cheap boxes as building blocks. Shipping containers can be readily modified with a range of creature comforts, and can be connected and stacked to create modular, efficient spaces for a fraction of the cost, labor and resources of more conventional materials.
Discover some of the exciting possibilities of shipping-container architecture, from disaster-relief shelters to luxury condos, vacation homes and off-the-grid adventurers. See what makes them green as well as cutting-edge.