Style Spy: Sustainable and Stylish Shipping Container Architecture

by Rakks | June 1st, 2012

Shipping Containers

Environmentally conscious architects and designers are thinking outside of the box when it comes to a starting point for their projects. How can they create sustainable low-impact buildings and spaces without sacrificing style and aesthetics?

In the last decade or so, the answer has been upcycling. According to Upcycle Magazine, upcycling is “taking an item that is no longer needed or wanted and giving it new life as something that is either useful or creative. This seemingly basic concept has sparked an exciting revolution with this generation.”

Recently, retired shipping crates have become the answer to the sustainability question. Shipping crates are large, there are millions of them (TheDailyGreen), and they are often left to rot when unneeded – allowing chemicals and metals to seep into the ground and as they rust away. Since they already exist, using them for architectural projects makes no difference in their carbon footprint. And although they are for the most part standard in size and shape, architects and designers are seeing this as a challenge and not a stumbling block.

NPR recently featured the Portland restaurant Aprisa Mexican Cuisine which is housed in a single shipping container.

Aprisa Mexican Cuisine
Aprisa Mexican Cuisine

The article points out how easy shipping container-restaurants are to transport, aiding in the growth of a chain.

Also featured in the article is Seattle firm HyBrid Architecture, which uses shipping containers to build residences as well as multi-story industrial buildings. Read the rest of the article here.

Shipping containers are becoming common in luxury homes as well, as evidenced in this home design by De Maria Design.

De Maria Design
De Maria Design

As evidenced below, the dominating interior style of shipping container buildings is one of modernity. The recent uptick in these sustainable buildings among the younger generation of architects ensures that container interiors will remain on the forefront of design innovation.

Interior Design

Read this great article on how to purchase and create your own shipping container building here!

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