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Container Architecture

First of all, what is container architecture? Shipping container architecture is a style of architecture that utilizes shipping containers for structural components. Shipping container architects leverage a huge number of these structures, that are too expensive to ship back empty to their countries of origin, to build sustainable, modular structures for commercial and residential buildings. This form of architecture was patented in august 8, 1989, by Phillip C. Clark, as a method for converting one or more steel shipping containers into a habitable building at a building site. Since then shipping containers have become more and more popular as a material for not only habitable buildings on contruction site but also for modern homes, and even a cheap alternative to when you are looking for a first house. This could be the future of architecture.

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What are the benefits of container architecture?

  • Cheap construction
  • mobile homes
  • recycling material
  • durable structure

Cheap construction.

When you already have the structure of the container all you really need to do is weld (or bolt if you want it to be potentially portable) them together. One 40ft shipping container costs around $1,800 and provides about 320 square feet of floor space. Put three containers together and you have almost 1,000 square feet for less than $6,000. Not only are the containers cheap to make, it is also remarkably quick to assemble, as it toke only two days to deliver and assemble 31 containers. This equates to around 6,000 square feet of construction laid down in two days, a rate that just is not possible with traditional building methods.


The development of mobility in our lifestyles challenges architecture. The concept of mobile and modular construction has been devised and is the object of remarkable reflections and proposals. But its implementation on a large scale implies a questioning of the relationship between architects, industrialists and companies ...

Recycling material

There are more than hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of shipping containers worldwide. These massive metal crates have been used to haul everything from refrigerators to frisbees, but there are considerably more crates than there are products that need to be shipped. While melting the crates down and turning them into other products (or even new shipping crates) has always been an option, the more inexpensive form of recycling has been to use them as building materials. While this sounds ugly and dystopian, with a little creativity these containers can be stacked to build beautiful structures.

Durable structure

The shipping containers are made entirely from Cor-ten steel also known as weathering steel is a name shortened from “corrosion resistance” and “ensile strength” are made specifically to withstand extremely dangerous weather, and are definitely tough enough to make housing out of. The Cor-ten steel’s enhanced corrosion resistance comes from the development of a protective oxide film on the surface of the metal which slows down further corrosion. So you don’t have to worry about harsh winds in a building like this.

How do you get a container homes?

If you have read this and thought that container architecture is an interesting idea, and you want a house like this, whether or not you have are rich or poor, it is definitely an option to get a house like this. It is very possible that there aren’t a lot container houses near you, so if you want a house like this you are gonna need an architect. But it can be hard to find an architect just walking down the street. The other option is to find an architect online, you can chat with him/her, talk about the finer details about the project you have in mind. The container homes are a great cheap alternative to a first house, but you can also create some spectacular homes with just a few shipping containers. it’s eco-friendly, it’s durable and it’s an affordable home to build in comparison. If you want help to build a container house, you can Find an online architect here:

Architects Online
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