Chic, Eco-Friendly Shipping Container Cities Popping Up Across the Globe


Photo Credit: MIMDeer

You might have heard about shipping container houses, after all, it’s not a new topic, they’re houses that are literally being made from old shipping containers – those things that are used to transport large amounts of goods on boats and on trains. However, the idea of entire shipping container cities are actually becoming increasingly popular due to environmental concerns in architecture. The containers are ideal elements for upcycling, structurally very strong and already designed to carry heavy loads.

With a little imagination, the shipping container becomes a cheap, reliable building block that can be used to build chic homes, and even entire cities!

The brilliant minds at Urban Space Management built something truly special at the Trinity Buoy Wharf in London, likely the most famous of all container cities. They created an entire city out of re-purposed shipping containers and even named the living and working community Container City. It’s easily recognizable by its funky ziggurat shape and bright colors designed to reflect the creative nature of who occupy its 22 studios.

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Another Container City, unveiled in 2010, opened in Cholula, Mexico, about two hours southeast of Mexico City. There, the brightly painted units are placed around courtyards laid with pavers, creating a more sophisticated look for a unified pocket of walkable urbanism. It includes design studios, cafes, sushi bars, tattoo parlors, vintage clothing shops and farm-to-table taquerias. Live entertainment is hosted almost every night, including top DJs from Mexico City at Taxi Cerveceria.

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Keetwonen is the name of the biggest container city in the world, which serves as student housing in Amsterdam. The initial fears of some people that the container homes would be too small, too noisy, too cold or too hot, all turned out to be unfounded. They turned out to be spacious, quiet and well insulated and certainly offer value for money, compared to other student homes in the city. It not only has all the amenities a student could ask for, it has a rooftop used for rainwater drainage, heat dispersal and insulation of the units below.

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Container cities are truly a sight to be seen, with creators using similar architecture and design to create classrooms, office space, sports halls, nurseries, community centers, artist studios and retail space.