Shipping Container Student Accommodation in Amsterdam.

One of the most interesting shipping container home projects has been the colourful container homes in Amsterdam utilised for student accommodation.

Photo: Student Rose Mandungu stands in front of a colorful apartment complex made from shipping containers in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

We have talked about these before and its good to see the buildings are still causing a bit of media interest. Not only because of being a cheap solution to housing for students but also can just as easily be a solution for couples or single people in need of housing generally. The current housing crisis hasn’t drastically affected homes in Europe as many people tied with the economic downturn generally can’t afford a rung on the housing ladder even with reduced prices. Shipping container homes could actually fill some of that gap but even if not shipping containers the fact is smaller homes make sense on many levels.

Photo: A student relaxes in a shipping container house in Amsterdam.

As you can see above the home is fully functional and provides the daily needs of students. Below the space can be utilised for a workspace. Whatever way you look at it thinking smaller makes people think of how to get the most out of the space they have. Also the fact they reduce their costs on things like electric and heating.

Photo: A student sews in her shipping container home in Amsterdam. Photo: Apartment building in Amsterdam made of stacked shipping containers, each with its own balcony

Photograph by Paul O’Driscoll, Bloomberg/Getty Images

They may seem a little bland from the outside but I also think people living in these types of environments geared towards a specific age group and type of people may actually develop better social development. Having community areas and small restaurants etc. could also feed into the idea. I know when I am city living I just need a roof over my head and a space to relax in the evenings. Having something like this would be perfect as generally I eat out and wouldn’t even need any cooking facilities.

Spherical Oil Silos Into Homes

oil silo home conversion

The initial thoughts would be contamination but then again depends where in the world the oil silo’s are as environmental laws may actually force things beyond what most people would assume.

oil silo house interior

This idea by PinkCloud.DK is a clever one where it sees new sustainable buildings and homes developed out of portable and already well sealed structures.

oil silo detail zoom

Never seen one before? That’s what I was thinking but at least 50,000 of these structures are in existence.

oil silo building systems

May not seem practical today but may be tomorrow, the important thing is people are thinking out of the box with recycling and practical usage of obsolete buildings.

Sliced Steel Silo Turned Into A home.


silo green home conversion

When I look at grain silo’s and then seeing these images its not hard to look at them in a completely different way than before. Taking a tall cylindrical building you can either utilize it on multiple levels or slice it up into ground level units.

silo home farm exterior

Elevated solar panels provide shade and power at the same time adding different shapes to the home design.

silo kitchen living room

Each cylinder has been utilised as a specific room and its not hard to see how amazing the place looks and more importantly how you could do a similar project and get some fantastic affects.

silo wood patio deck

The Cornell students on this project were using it as part of the Solar Decathlon utilising both architectural and interior design teams to maximise the home design.

silo solar decathlon house

Amazing design developing the new with the old can’t see any downside.

silo home construction plan

Well maybe one downside, this isn’t a real recycling project but a custom made cylinder prototype of what you could do with a real silo.

silo home architect drawing

Whatever way you look at it is doable at the same time I do have concerns on cutting a silo into sections as this could affect the basic structure especially in the central area. At the same time could be dismantled and reassembled.

Grain Silo–Converted Into Home

Grain Silo’s are often left abandoned after the demise of a farm or the farm itself changes the way it works. But why destroy them why not create a beautiful contemporary home from one?


Out in the Midwest of the U.S. you will find this contemporary designed home but what is rather unique is the use of two silo’s to create the home. Does show how you can create a silo house and it doesn’t look odd. If anything it seems to give the thought of “what a good idea”.


Although designed for a single man to live in its also got space for guests and family visiting. The natural design of the silo also means that there is not only great views throughout the home but also a lot of natural light is able to travel through.


The downside being that everything has to be custom made and as a carpenter myself I wouldn’t have any issue in building the home but I know if your not into DIY this could be rather expensive for some.


The metal interior of the silo adds a bit of interest to the kitchen area with its original metal work exposed. Adds a bit of a sheen to the kitchen.


How many kids would love a rounded bed like these? Not only that it does give a bit of a quiet space for reading or taking a time out.


Great home and a great idea, I am sure its got some others thinking “where are the nearest silo’s?”

Grain Silo’s Into Container Homes

silo homes converted

Many farms are doing just as bad as everything else in the economy right now and it makes sense if you have got a grain silo to put it to better use than sat there empty. Its probably even more value these days as a rental space than storing grain.

The world is getting smaller and more things like silo’s are also being swallowed up by new housing developments that see the farms disappear. But what is there to say the silo has to go? Why not convert it into a rather unique and interesting home instead?

grain silo house conversion

grain silo home converted

Although the design is almost seems like its done as a fad I do wonder how the sound reflection is due to the rounded walls. Does it help with noise in the home? One thing is for sure though is its a low cost home especially if the Silo’s are destined for the scrap heap.

grain silos

The triple silo unit above is actually a hotel complex and not a unique home. Does show what you can do with a bit of land and old farm buildings though.

grain silo rustic home

For the simple and green minded this grain silo home is rather unique but simplistic in design. At the same time does show what you can do with a bit of thought.

Mazda Shipping Container Car Dealership–Site Specific

When Bangkok based Site Specific were approached for a Mazda dealership building they were not only looking at a shipping container project but also a client that needed the building yesterday.

The modular shipping container car dealership was designed to be constructed in six stages. The main objective was as soon as the first container hit the ground the dealer could start selling cars and the other shipping container units would be added in phases at a later date. This resulted in the first shipping container and sales room being installed then over the next 5 months adding extra rooms and facilities until it was complete.

Site specific had gone down the route of shipping containers due to the fact they reduce the carbon footprint in not only construction but the use of recycled materials. The shipping container design sits comfortably alongside a car dealership and blends in nicely. But just as importantly they could work with the project in modular sections by utilizing the easy construction methods associated with shipping containers. For the dealership they have the added bonus of being able to move the whole building when the lease expired if they decided to relocate.

Site Specific

Mazda Shipping Container Car Dealership–Site SpecificMazda Shipping Container Car Dealership–Site SpecificMazda Shipping Container Car Dealership–Site SpecificMazda Shipping Container Car Dealership–Site SpecificMazda Shipping Container Car Dealership–Site SpecificMazda Shipping Container Car Dealership–Site SpecificMazda Shipping Container Car Dealership–Site SpecificMazda Shipping Container Car Dealership–Site Specific

Why Not To Live In A Shipping Container House.

The whole concept of shipping container houses are people get it and understand the idea and concept wanting to put it into practice and show how its done.

But why not live in a shipping container? First thing is you listen to other people and how being different is a bad thing. The same people advising you in what to do are mortgaged up to the hilt and generally like to have trending items that are the latest gadget, car or any other thing that costs more than they can afford.

Shipping containers make sense for people with a budget and a vision consumer speculation doesn’t fit into that and its why maybe its not for you. Swapping your budget for a new iPad for a sink or maybe the foundations of a shipping container home? Doesn’t sound so good but then again maybe can get both with a credit card? But for many of the container community they are trying to get away from any kind of debt as they are well aware of how banks and other finance houses manipulate people into thinking its ok to be in debt.

But debt isn’t ok if you go back to your grandparents was debt acceptable then? Did they run up such big debts their grandchildren couldn’t pay? Answer is no as it was shunned upon and shameful to owe money or be seen to be borrowing. The mortgage is one thing people may stretch to but generally riding on debt was never the way forward except for the last 50years. Which makes me wonder how much has people really been spending when the estimates economies are looking at 20 years of debt have we really been spending 70 or 100 years of debt and governments have just been signing it off with inflation and over evaluations of businesses and property?

The shipping container home is too small even before you ever looked at the idea as you knew it was a shipping container. Nobody thinks they are taking up 3/4 more space on the planet in the West than they used to though do they? Need to convert the loft, convert the garage, add a conservatory but for what? Gets back to consumerism as in reality as a child I had no extras and we were content because ok we didn’t know better but even today I would much rather my kids experienced the rain and sunshine than constantly indoors. A shipping container is more of a central pod which opens up areas of the outdoor world.

There is nowhere to put all my excess stuff? Agree with you as I have lots of stuff too at the same time when I am working I can carry nearly everything in one suitcase. I don’t watch TV and can use a laptop for most things I need. Even more ultra modern is my new tab that is probably 1/4 the size of a laptop but supplies me everything I need. Ok but what about the plasma? You can still keep it hanging on the wall in a shipping container home but like most things I have found over time the question in my mind is “Do you really need it?”.

When you start doing that its surprising not only how much excess you already have but when buying how much stuff you just don’t buy and find your wallet goes from battered credit cards to real money and buying what you need.

Shipping container homes are about not only a home but changing your way of life if you can’t adapt to it then your right its not for you. At the same time look at what others want in life and not go through life with blinkers.

Shipping Container Homes Do Some People Miss The Point?

I sigh sometimes looking at shipping container homes as often its an architect monstrosity trying to create something for only one reason, Free publicity. Have some people really missed the point?

A lot of the designs go out their way to make the old furniture fit into a new home and quite simply it was never designed to fit in the first place. Its why you hear the sceptics complain so much that a shipping container home simply doesn’t work. But is that true?

Take a look at static caravans, mobile homes, canal boats or other types of home that are designed round minimalist housing and they all function and work often better than most homes and the reason why is because they are thought through and designed to be functional.

Need a big kitchen? But how often do you use it a day? Washing machines, sinks and other bulky items take up space but ultimately are under used but take up your valuable living space. Can you use a smaller sink or even better remove it from the inside of the home. I live out in the Philippines and the majority of washing is done externally where the water source is be it a pump or mains water piped to the side of a home its generally outside. Makes more sense when you consider you don’t have to worry about getting anything wet and clothing needs to be hung outside to dry. Its the mod cons people are struggling to move away from its not a shipping container has gotten too small but the fact we assume we need so much.

A large amount of photos I have seen of shipping container homes like to show the large sofa sitting in the middle of the sitting room yet it’s actually showing that a huge sofa is wasting space not that its comfy. Most small container homes are designed for 1 – 2 people yet the majority of space is taken up by a 4 seater settee why? A futon sofa bed or some other sofa bed is far more practical or other multi functional furniture.

Life is not only about downsizing but also improving quality of life when it comes to shipping container homes. It may seem people are taking on less but what do you gain by reducing your link to the consumerist world? First of all its the square metre size of your home its smaller your removing years off your mortgage payments in reality adding years to enjoying life instead of giving them to the bank.

Most container homes are designed round open space so its not about sitting watching TV but more about mountain biking or sitting out on the porch watching the world go by while sipping on a nice morning coffee. Its about releasing yourselves from the binds of day to day living with the complexities of things we don’t need to concentrate on the things you want to do and experience in life. This is why I find it odd that some of the shipping container homes I have seen go for book shelves lined with books when there is nothing to say we have to stay in the dark ages what about a kindle or using PDF’s? Ok its not the same as reading but do people really need literally hundreds of books in the home when no doubt many of the shipping container homes will be near a library. No point minimalizing life if in turn we then stock up with things we really don’t need to be there.

What are the best and worst container home you have seen?

Shipping Containers Into Pop Out Spaces By WhiteCrate

BBC, Shipping container display

Shipping containers are starting to become the norm not only for house construction but also for reusing as offices and other buildings. WhiteCrate has taken on the realisation that you can also make them an extremely portable sales unit and have developed a company round the concept. From an exhibition and event perspective these are also fantastic as you can simply fold up and drop when needed saving a lot of expensive costs in labour.

Shipping container cafeshipping container movie theatre

Keeping on the green route of recycling the company tries to get all its fitting out materials from local sources to help reduce unnecessary transportation and excessive waste. Having a broad selection of designs also allows people to get an idea if its suits their business and needs.

shipping container libraryshipping container vegetable store

shipping container Norton exhibition stand

Shipping Container House Project In Connecticut

The photos below were taken by the client owner of the shipping container home being constructed in New Haven, Connecticut.

What interested me most about this design is that they went for a more traditional looking home rather than leaving the shipping containers on view externally. Although it is a shipping container home it does seem miles away from the concept with its exterior finish.

shipping container home U.S.

Its not far off being a home and more importantly doesn’t look anything like a shipping container.interior,shipping container home

The interior finish is very typical of normal home construction and doesn’t stand out. If anything going down this route has helped hide the shipping containers completely.

shipping container balcony being framed

shipping container home,  Connecticut

Currently looks more like a school house until the cladding and windows are added below.shipping container home,  Connecticut

Nearly finished and the shipping containers start to disappear into the design.

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