Top 10 Leisure Uses For Shipping Containers

Posted By: May 8, 2015 In Featured

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We all know just how versatile shipping containers can be. They have been used to build schools, hotels, homes and just about any other type of building imaginable! To show their versatility earlier on this year we wrote 7 Surprising Uses for Shipping Containers.

Today we want to focus on the Top 10 Leisure uses of shipping containers from art studios to swimming pools you will find lots of creative uses for shipping containers below! This will form our growing collection of Top 10’s, which also includes the Top 10 Shipping Container Offices.

1. Beach Retreat

In first position is Hartman Kable’s shipping container beach retreat. Hartman works in the city and wanted a retreat he could escape to during the weekend, so he built a beach hut for himself! The ‘SurfShack’ is located on the coast of Washington and is made from a recycled 20 foot container.

The exterior of the container has been left un-touched; however Hartman has completely stripped the inside of the container, and made some clever use of the space in there.

The SurfShack is complete with a kitchen and bathroom in addition to a master bedroom which is located at the bottom of the container.

The SurfShack

2. Camping Hut

In second place we have this awesome camping shipping container. This camping container was built by Joel from HyBrid Arc who we recently interviewed in: 23 Shipping Container Home Owners Speak Out: “What I Wish I’d Known Before Building My Shipping Container Home”.

The container was converted for King County Parks– a collection of 200 parks spanning over 26,000 acres in Carnation, Washington. King Country say this is their first eco-friendly camping container and it was built using recycled and sustainable products.

The camping container was built using a 20 foot shipping container and can sleep a family of four.

Shipping Container Camping Hut


3. Artist’s Studio

Maziar Behrooz an architect based in New York designed this art studio which comes in at third place.

The studio can be found in the forests north of New York and was built using two shipping containers which create 840 square foot of studio space.

Behrooz claimed shipping containers were used because they had a limited budget and he thought they could get much more value with containers when compared to traditional construction costs. Also he said the sustainability appeal of the containers was a draw because “the container itself is a recycled product that would otherwise go to waste”.

Container Art Studio

© Maziar Behrooz

4. Swimming Pool

Ok, so we’ve seen an artist’s studio, a beach retreat and a camping hut, but I bet you didn’t think you’d be seeing a swimming pool mentioned in this list! Back in 2013, Stefan Beese, decided to use an old shipping container to make a swimming pool in his back yard!

The container was first cleaned and coated in paint which will stop the container corroding. The container was then partially buried in his back garden.

Once the container was in its place, it was coated with foam insulation  and a pool liner- hey presto you have a swimming pool!

Swimming Pool in a Shipping Container

© Stefan Beese

5. Bar

The surprises keep coming! In fifth place is a bar from Austin, Texas which has been made using several shipping containers. The bar is the result of a collaborative project featuring North Arrow Studio and Henley & Knowles Design Studio.

The ‘container’ bar is spread out over two levels and creates some unique outdoor and indoor spaces- most notably the internal courtyard which is covered by a floating roof. Each container has its own unique theme so when you move throughout the bar you are immediately transported into completely different vibes.

If you are in the area, make sure to head over to Rainey Street to catch a glimpse of Austin’s first shipping container bar!

The Container Bar


6. Artistic Retreat

If drinking and staying out late isn’t really your style then Cove Park is the perfect counterpart to The Container Bar.

Cove Park is an artist’s retreat based in Scotland surrounded by over 40 acres of countryside.

Each individual retreat is made out of a shipping container and in total there are now nine retreats at the park. Each container has an en-suite and faces out onto the famous Loch Long.

This project more than most sums up just how effective containers can be- each container was pre-fabricated off-site, so it only took 4 days to install the containers on-site!

Cove Park Shipping Container Office


7. Café

In seventh place is a Café built again in Austin, Texas- however this is no ordinary Café! It’s an ‘environmentally sensitive café’ which prides itself on sourcing locally baked goods such as sandwiches and cakes.

La Boite was built from the ground up with sustainability in mind, from the upcycled shipping container to the greywater collection system through to the bio-based spray foam insulation.

If you are in the area be sure to head over to South Lamar Boulevard to see it in person!

The café is fixed onto wheels so it can be moved around if needed- We think it would make a great portable café for festivals and summer events!

La Boite Cafe

© designstudiomodern

8. Spa

SOAK’ is a company based in San Francisco that wants to reuse shipping containers and turn them into portal spas that can be moved around and transported to other locations on demand.

Again like La Boite (mentioned above) SOAK is serious about environmental issues and comes complete with solar panels and a greywater collection system. In-fact it’s the solar panels that are particularly impressive. Its inventors claim SOAK can be used completely ‘off-grid’ without power due to the solar power.

The spa hasn’t been built yet, its inventors are currently seeking funding- so if you’re interested in an off-grid spa be sure to get in touch with them!

Soak Spa


9. Studio

I guess you could call this Austin’s response to Cove Park. This studio/retreat is designed to be used as a weekend getaway come guesthouse.

The entire studio was made using a single 40 foot container- however its designer Jim Poteet, has managed to fit inside it a lounge, bathroom and tiny kitchen/worktop area.

The large windows provide an impressive amount of light and we really like the green garden growing on the roof.

This means three out of the top ten are from Austin, Texas- they really do know how to put shipping containers to good use there!

Studio Shipping Container

© Jim Poteet

10. Beach Hut

In tenth place is this spectacular beach hut with views out onto the beautiful McGregor Bay. The Coromandel Bach Beach Home, was designed by Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects and contains four bedrooms.

We think the most impressive part is the huge open plan living area you can see in the centre of the picture- just imagine lounging out there on a warm New Zealand summer day!

Again in keeping with other sustainable buildings mentioned in this blog post, the beach hut is cladded with natural timber and this also really helps blend the hut into the local environment which is densely populated with mountainside and forests.

Shipping Container Home 8_01

© Chris Cooper

I’m sure you are itching at the bit now to convert a shipping container; we sure hope these containers above have given you the motivation to get cracking! Be sure to let us know in the comments below which one was your favourite…

Blog Cover Modified From Giuseppe

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