We love the versatility of shipping containers. When you buy or hire a shipping container, you can do almost anything with them. We’ve seen pop-up shipping container shops, storage solutions and garden offices, amongst other things.
Some projects use the versatility that containers offer and really push the boundaries with them, giving an everyday space a unique backdrop. This is especially true of Container City 1 & 2 in Trinity Buoy Wharf in London and Cholula Container City in Mexico.
Four Storeys of Space for Working and Living in London
Completed in 2001 and extended in 2003 to include the fourth storey, Container City 1 is unique and offers a multi-use space. The building provides 12 work studios and three live/work apartments. It was joined in 2002 by Container City 2, a five-storey building offering 22 studios to work in. Bridges connect the two buildings, and the bright, vibrant paint replicates the creative nature of the work inside the buildings on the outside of the buildings.
Mixed Use Living in Cholula, Mexico
Cholula Container City is located just two hours outside Mexico City and is constructed of 50 shipping containers. The development factors in courtyards, alleys and streets through clever placement of the containers, which are all painted bright colours and fitted with electricity, kitchen, dining areas and more. There are open use areas with ping pong tables and garden style layouts so that people can socialise too.
The Mexican development features restaurants, juice bars, shops, art galleries and apartments housed in recycled maritime containers. The development also uses other recycled materials throughout.
Social Housing & Student Housing Projects Throughout the World
Not only are there private developments that have made use of the versatility of containers, social housing and charitable organisations have seen the benefits. For example, the Dutch Salvation Army, Leger des Heils, have a series of buildings in Amsterdam which were constructed using shipping containers to house homeless individuals with a history of drug addiction or criminal convictions. Within the buildings, there are multi-use spaces where the residents can obtain support and guidance to support their rehabilitation.
In the UK, a project in Brighton saw 60 containers refurbished to offer a homeless shelter. These units provide an actual studio apartment to those in need, and the development had a turnaround of just eight weeks as a quick solution to the increase in homelessness in the area.
Throughout Europe, developers and universities have also begun to see the benefits of using shipping containers for housing students during their studies, as the 40ft containers can comfortably fit kitchen, bathroom and bedroom space within one unit.
Benefits of a Shipping Container Development
Shipping containers offer such a fantastic solution for housing and office space. Both of these developments, one in the heart of London’s Docklands and the other on the outskirts of a busy city, offer the chance to develop a property in a built-up area. Unfortunately, these areas didn’t offer much free space to build and develop without knocking another building down. Using containers, you can create a custom build solution for providing much needed space within a smaller footprint.
What’s more, the fit out of these apartments and offices is much quicker than building from scratch. For example, container City 1 took four days to install and just five months to fit out.
The Environmental Aspects of Shipping Container Developments
Often these developments are made from steel containers that have had a singular previous usage. There are so many steel containers in London and beyond that have been used once for their intended purpose, and are waiting to be put to use again. You are putting unused structures back into use by purchasing these for housing and work developments.
In addition to the reuse of the container itself during building, there are other environmental benefits. These include the fact that when any container is modified, for example, when partial steel sections are removed to allow for windows or doors, the steel removed can be recycled. The developments also use less cement, wood and bricks for construction. Containers are also designed to be stacked, so they don’t require additional materials to be used to hold them together. They can also be moveable if, at a later date, the project needs demolishing and the developer has a new location in mind.
Lost Cost Developments
One of the most significant benefits of shipping container developments is the low cost associated with them. You can find used site cabins for sale in London and across the UK at a great rate, with many of them in top condition. A lick of paint, and they are ready to go.
With their ability to withstand harsh environments, the maintenance of these units is not costly either, so you have a low cast development to build and look after as the years go by.
Using Shipping Containers for Your Next Project
Shipping containers are widely available and come in various sizes, from 8ft to 40ft. We can offer you a fantastic selection when you are looking for steel containers in London for your next project.
At Flintham Cabins, we have over 35 years of experience in delivering units for various uses and will be more than happy to supply you with the right ones for your development. We can also help when it comes to finding mobile welfare units in London for your team to use while your development is underway.