Reimagining the metal shipping container

With origins tracing back to the mid-1950s, the modern metal shipping container continues to serve as a secure, practical vessel for transporting valuable materials. However, these reusable steel boxes have recently garnered considerable attention from architects and constructors as attractive building materials. 
October 07, 2013 |
Joe Edge

With origins tracing back to the mid-1950s, the modern metal shipping container continues to serve as a secure, practical vessel for transporting valuable materials from one place to another. At Star, we use them exclusively for our overseas shipments. 

However, beyond their primary function of moving things around the world, these reusable steel boxes have recently garnered considerable attention from architects and constructors as attractive building materials. 

Gizmag selected 10 of its favorite shipping container structures around the world, showcasing a range of imaginative and sustainable applications for these basic metal cubes: 

1. Caterpillar House, a passively-cooled family residence built on a hillside outside Santiago, Chile. 

2. Sleeping Around, a portable bed-and-breakfast-style hotel in Belgium.

3. A "Temporary City" for the 20th anniversary of Amsterdam’s annual avant-garde theatre festival, the Over het IJ Festival. 

4. New Jerusalem Orphanage, a sanctuary for up to 80 orphans in South Africa.

5. Bharathi Indian Polar Station, commissioned by India’s National Center for Antarctic and Ocean Research to be self-sufficient and able to withstand extremes in weather. 

6. Starbucks Drive-Thru in Tukwila, Wash., which also features a walk-up window and an outdoor patio. 

7. Shipping Container House in Colorado that operates completely off-the-grid. 

8. Atira Women’s Resource Society Housing Project in Canada that provides access to affordable housing for up to 12 women at a time. 

9. WFH House, which incorporates recycled shipping containers into a modular building system in Wuxi, China. 

10. Infinski Shipping Container Houses, affordable and adaptable to local conditions and resources. 

Congratulations to these innovators for their creativity and resourcefulness.  

Here’s to the future of practical, affordable, imaginative metal structures! 

Read more from Gizmag.

Editor's note: This is a sponsored article. All text and images were provided by the sponsor company.

Joe Edge | Metal Building Trends

Joe Edge is Managing Director of International Services with Star Building Systems. During his 30-plus-year career with the company, he has held several positions, including President, Director of Customer Service, Vice President of Sales, District Sales Manager, and Northern Regional Sales Manager. Edge has also served as an estimator, drafter, and project manager for a Star Builder. He holds a BA degree from West Georgia College. Hobbies include fishing, reading, bike riding, scuba diving, and traveling for business or pleasure.

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