The 7 Swoon-Worthiest Shipping Container Homes

published Oct 26, 2016
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(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

I think part of the reason shipping container houses are so appealing is that building a house from shipping containers is like the grown-up equivalent of making a really sweet fort from cardboard boxes — you have succeeded in making something awesome from something that you just found, something that would otherwise be in the trash. (Of course, the actual reality of shipping container homes is a bit more complicated than that — but there’s no denying they have a certain draw.) There are plenty of designs for shipping container homes floating around the internet, but here, we’ve rounded up seven of the best.

#7: New Orleans, LA

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)
(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

Above: Seth and Elisabeth’s New Orleans home is made from two four-ton shipping containers, connected by a 220 square foot addition made of wood slats, steel cables, and ribbed polycarbonate panels. The entire house is only 750 square feet, but 14 foot ceilings in the addition, plus lots of windows, mean the interior is spacious and filled with light. See the full tour here.

#6: San Jose, Costa Rica

This shipping container home, located outside of San Jose, Costa Rica, comprises two containers joined by a raised middle section, which helps air flow through the house and limits the need for air conditioning. The entire project, which included a bit of DIY, only cost $40,000. See photos at Inhabitat.

#5: San Antonio, TX

This studio/guesthouse, situated in the backyard of a San Antonio home, could also serve as inspiration for the perfect tiny house. It’s built from a single 8′ by 40′ container. While shopping for containers, the homeowner was so taken with the blue color of this one that she decided to leave it exactly as is. See the photos at Dwell.

#4: Blue Hill, Maine

For proof that shipping container homes need not be teeny, there’s this 12 container house, made from, as the name would imply, 12 different shipping containers. The containers are arranged into a ‘T’ formation, 3 on each side, on either side of a massive living room, created by enclosing the space between the containers. See photos of the house at Industrial Zombie.

#3: El Tiemblo, Spain

This shipping container home by architects James & Mau is located in the Spanish town of El Tiemblo. It’s composed of six shipping containers in an ‘L’ configuration: four on the first floor, and two on the second. Replacing some of the sides of the containers with glass curtain wall allows plenty of light to enter the house. See photos of the home here.

#2: Savannah, Georgia

Artist and designer Julio Garcia used two shipping containers to create a budget-friendly home in Savannah, Georgia. The containers are staggered, and connected by a central structure whose clerestory windows flood the interior with light. The doors at the end of the containers are integrated into the design, and allow the house to open up to the outdoors. See photos at Small House Bliss.

#1: Kansas City, MO

Former toy designer Debbie Glassberg built this this 2,600 square foot Kansas City house from five shipping containers. One of her goals in building it was to show others interested in the idea that shipping container homes don’t have to by hyper industrial — in fact, they can be quite pretty. In the living room, the walls of the containers that make up the house are painted in a beautiful Tiffany blue, and paired with gorgeous sculptural ceiling tiles. You can see photos of the home on Debbie’s website at Home Contained.