15 of the BEST projects inspired by Shipping Containers

~ Colleen Hawkes / Domain

In light of the recent decision by Christchurch City Council to crack down on people living in unsightly shipping containers and tiny homes, we thought it would be timely to show the other end of the spectrum – just so shipping containers don’t get too bad a rap.

Creative architects and designers right around the world have put their minds to the container projects featured in this gallery and the results are staggering.

These are not tiny homes in a single container – most of them feature containers stacked in varying arrangements and sizes. The second one is actually made from wood pallets.

15 of the BEST projects inspired by Shipping Containers

This container building in Sao Paulo designed by Marcio Kogan at Studio MK27 features two tunnels of containers that create a perfect store environment for a clothing retailer.The Manifesto house in Chile is by Jaime Gaztelu and Mauricio Galeano, founders and partners of Infiniski. It is made from wood pellets and has the flexibility to open up to maximise the breezes and ventilation.Travis Price Architects Sea Container apartment housing for students was built in just seven months.Seven bright red shipping containers were repurposed for this modern office near Tel Aviv in Israel. The project was designed by Potash Architects.

This shipping container house in Queensland Australia was built from 31 containers.The Pocket House by Cristina Menezes Arquitetura e Decoratcao is a container house build in Brazil, with large glass walls maximising the landscape.The Cargotecture C192 Nomad Sunset Idea house from HyBrid Architecture comes with solar panels and a large awning.This great house featured in Shipping Container Homes for Beginners by Christopher Dillashaw.

The Wellington container holiday house at Owhiro Bay is comprised of three stacked containers.The inside of the Wellington house maximises the space.Okay, the Grangegorman residence in Dublin by ODOS Architects is not quite a container house, but there's a definite reference here.The Grangegorman residence appears as a series of stacked containers.

Here's another house that could easily be a collection of overlapping containers, but was clearly rather more elaborate - food for thought perhaps.Noorderparkbar designed by Bureau SLA in Netherlands is a pop-up coffee bar built as a series of modules using recycled materials. These include a large wooden box used to transport a large milk carton machine.This container project in Colorado is by Studio H:T - it has solar power and is largely off the grid.Studio H:T created a warm, textural interior.

Huiini House is a private residence located in La Primavera, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico. Made from four shipping containers, it was designed by S+ Diseo.The bright yellow exterior adds a lively touch to the grey-blue container base.Horses graze between the two container buildings.The Christchurch Re:Start container shopping mall set up in the Christchurch CBD following the earthquake.

But they all show innovation, with many introducing bold colours, transparent elements and contrasting textures.

A couple of them have cheated – they are not technically made from shipping containers, but they adhere to the same volumetric approach, and could just as easily be made from containers. See if you can spot those ones.