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Would you live in a home made from a storage container?

Posted on by Emily

At AMA we offer a huge range of containers for use for anything from temporary and secure storage, transportation or as offices and on-site buildings. Recently, however, we’ve been looking into some of the more inventive ways that people use storage and shipping containers, one of which is as building blocks for housing and other structures.

Far from the clunky, rusting boxes that you might imagine, homes made from containers can be modern, stylish and chic, not to mention very environmentally friendly and sustainable, something that we fully applaud.

We admit, the cold, hard exterior might put some people off, and it’s hard to envisage one making a cosy family home, but just a little research revealed loads of innovative projects from around the world. People from across the globe are transforming containers into living spaces, and here are just a few of our favourite container housing projects to help inspire you.

Keetwonen – Amsterdam, the World’s largest container city

Keetwonen, although probably unfamiliar to most, is the world’s largest ‘container city’, built from over 1000 shipping containers to provide affordable student housing in Amsterdam. Overcoming fears that containers might be difficult to heat, noisy to live in and too small, students have found that the stacked blocks actually provide perfect insulation and soundproofing, whilst their close-knit structure makes for ideal student accommodation.

Each student’s room is neatly fitted within one shipping container, including a bathroom and kitchen, with heating, hot water and internet connections available in each room too. The modular nature of Keetwonen also means that at short notice blocks can be added or removed, and the whole building can be moved and reassembled at a new site if necessary.

BBC Olympic Studios – London, sustainable container TV Studio

UK-based company Container City specialise in making unique buildings out of containers and, whilst it isn’t housing, one of their most iconic creations to date was the BBC studios in the London Olympic park in 2012.

Briefed simply to create a sustainable television studio for Olympic coverage, Container City constructed a three-story building from containers, filled with offices and smaller studios, with a glass BBC studio on the roof. The studios ultimately showed that despite being made of simple materials, containers can still fulfill high-tech needs and, when decorated, can look as modern and stylish as any conventional building.

Container City 1 – London, Storage Container Homes

Container City also worked to produce their self-titled Container City 1 at Trinity Buoy Wharf in London’s Docklands. Built in 2001 and added to in 2003, this four-story office and living space was designed and built in just five months, taking an amazingly short 4 days to actually assemble on site. As with Keetwonen, above, Container City 1 is designed to be modular, meaning that it can be taken down, added to or even moved to a new location if needed, ideal for short-lease plots and areas under development.

As well as being relatively cheap and cost efficient to build, the designers estimate that the structure is at least 80% recycled materials, an incredible achievement.

Tony’s Farm – Shanghai

Our final example of exceptional building with containers comes from architect firm Playze who designed and built Tony’s Farm in Shanghai, China. As the biggest organic farm in Shanghai, Tony’s farmhouse has been designed to house offices, a VIP area and a crop-packing center, as well as leisure areas, meeting rooms and living space. Constructed from 76 reimagined shipping containers, the farm building wonderfully combines the building and its organic environment, with massive windows and doors making the building an extension of the farmland.

Featuring bridges, tunnels, courtyards and balconies, this container structure shows that you don’t need to compromise on design flair simply because you are building with recycled containers, and is a fantastic example of what can be done with reclaimed materials.

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All these buildings just go to show that building design is limited only by a designer’s imagination (and maybe budget), even when using something as unusual as a container. The internet is abuzz with ideas and examples of just what can be done with the humble container, so there is plenty out there to inspire any budding builders.

Whilst the containers that we offer might not have the architectural flair of some buildings that we’ve shown, they are extremely practical for a huge range of uses on-site. From secure storage to site offices and staff canteens, AMA can provide container hire to meet any needs that you have.

For more information on any of our container hire services, or any other products listed on our website, call us today on 0845 4759 637 or complete an online contact form.

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