Shipping container modifications have gained popularity in recent years. Originally designed for transporting goods across oceans, shipping containers have found new life as customisable spaces for a wide range of purposes, from residential and commercial uses to innovative architectural designs and pop-up shops.

The concept of repurposing shipping containers stems from the inherent characteristics that make them ideal for modification. These sturdy steel structures are built to withstand harsh weather conditions, heavy loads, and long-distance travel, making them durable and reliable.  

The Potential to Save a Housing Crisis

Shipping container modifications hold potential for addressing housing crises in various parts of the world. With their affordability, durability, and scalability, shipping containers can be transformed into comfortable and sustainable living spaces, providing a viable solution for affordable housing shortages. 

Space for Art Installations

The use of shipping containers in art installations has become increasingly popular, providing artists with a unique and captivating medium for creative expression. The industrial aesthetic and structural integrity of shipping containers lend themselves well to artistic experimentation and innovation. Artists can transform these large, steel structures into immersive installations while the modular nature of shipping containers allows for flexible configurations, enabling artists to create dynamic and interactive experiences for viewers. 

Pop Up Shops and Restaurants

Shipping containers have emerged as a popular choice for pop-up shops and restaurants. The natural mobility of shipping containers allows for easy transportation and setup in various locations, making them ideal for temporary or mobile retail and dining experiences. The customisable nature of container modifications allows for the incorporation of features such as large windows, serving counters, seating areas, and even rooftop decks, creating an inviting and unique atmosphere.

Home and Office Transformations

The ability to transform shipping containers into homes and offices has changed the way we think about sustainable living and working spaces. These sturdy steel structures offer a unique opportunity to repurpose them into comfortable and functional environments. By combining multiple containers, architects and designers can create innovative and modern living spaces or offices with an industrial edge.  

Disaster Relief Assistance

Shipping container modifications play a crucial role in disaster relief efforts, offering quick and effective solutions in times of crisis. When natural disasters strike, such as earthquakes, cyclones, or floods, there is an immediate need for safe and secure shelter. Shipping containers provide a readily available and durable option for emergency housing.  

10 Creative Shipping Container Modifications

Pop Up Container Hospitals

Brisbane company, Canstruct, has designed and built specialised ‘negative pressure’ portable hospital rooms made from shipping containers that can be delivered anywhere in Australia. The rooms, which can be operational within two hours of delivery even to remote and regional centres, are also convertible to ‘positive pressure’ which keeps out dust particles and smoke, making them suitable for bushfire affected areas.

Container Cafes 

The Happy Turtle Cafe in Caloundra is the first commercial venture of its kind on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Nestled in Happy Valley Playground, this café with a conscience encourages bringing your own cup for a donation to Sea Life Trust Sunshine Coast; while those who opt for the takeaway option are encouraged to recycle onsite, with all cups turned back into paper. 

Shipping Container Bars

In Washington D.C USA, Sandlot Southeast set up a shipping container bar that sells cocktails mixed with cold-pressed juice in a lot bordering a dog park. Sandlot Southeast is a 5,000 square foot, outdoor container bar & event space offering cold-pressed cocktails & grab-and-go meals w/ a side of sports, music, cultural arts & entertainment. 

Container Art Galleries

The Yangpyeong Art Museum in Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi Province set up the Container Art Lab in 2020, built with three shipping containers, with both constant temperature and humidity features. The Container Art Lab holds art exhibitions to showcase various artworks created by local artists.

Portable Pools

A property in Joshua Tree, California comes with a great feature: a modern shipping container swimming pool with a peek-a-boo window built into one of its walls.  Measuring the standard 8 feet wide, 8.5 feet high, and 20 feet long, the pool has been fitted with a waterproof liner, built-in bench seating, and underwater lighting.

Diving Tower

The  Water Sports Center Halsskov, Denmark features a jumping tower made from three stacked, bright yellow shipping containers. People can jump off a shipping container diving tower into the waves at the Water Sports Center Halsskov at heights of around 13, 26, and 36 feet. 

Shipping Container Playground 

Skinners Playground in Melbourne puts four discarded shipping containers to use as a great space  for childhood adventures. Many of the structural elements in the Skinners Playground are simply container cut outs that have been repositioned. The stair railings, shade overhangs, and balconies are all parts of abandoned containers. The materials give a feeling similar to kid-constructed tree houses and forts from found objects.

Shipping Container Bridge

Israeli architect firm Yoav Messer Architects won the Ariel Sharon Park Competition in early 2013 for a unique pedestrian bridge built from containers. The bridge seeks to integrate the surrounding environment for pedestrians and cyclists by including observation decks to view the surrounding nature preserve vistas.

Modular farms

A TAFE QLD campus in Toowoomba features a “grow pod” aimed to change students’ perspectives on traditional farming. The container farm is controlled remotely with an app and the whole process can be monitored from an external system. 

Modular stadium seating

Back in 2019, the University of Arkansas baseball offered premium seating boxes made from repurposed shipping containers. The premium seating concept at Baum-Walker Stadium featured unique amenities including sofas, televisions, bar stools, and private balconies.

If you’ve been considering transforming a shipping container into a functional and personalised space, contact the team at Shipping Containers Sydney to see how we can help.