As part of the Ann Arbor District Library’s summer reading program, I took part in a recent presentation called ‘Making It Happen in Ann Arbor: Local Makers Discuss Their Projects’. Since I have been thinking more about doing something with shipping container architecture, I gave my portion of the talk discussing the possibilities of using shipping containers for buildings.

(The Library taped the event, so it should eventually be available. I’ll update this once there’s a link I can provide.)

There are lots of examples of shipping container architecture out there already; I’m not inventing anything here. But I am interested in the possibilities and the constraints that shipping containers offer, and I’m definitely interested in joining the mix of people who have used shipping containers as architectural elements. I am thinking about working on a set of plans that could be sold for people who are interested in

In case anyone is looking for the images from that talk, I’ve attached them as a gallery below. I don’t have the text of my talk (it was more improvised than scripted, anyhow), but the images I presented are all here (with references and sources noted below). Let me again point out that none of this is my own work, although I do like a couple of the projects I presented.

Image references and a few notes:

shipping-01.jpg –
– Lots of shipping containers in the world. Inexpensive space that is already structurally strong and quite watertight.

shipping-02.jpg –
– Hunting camp: no lights, no heat, no plumbing.

shipping-03.jpg – Apartment Therapy –
– One drawback to many designs is that the container ends up getting lost.

shipping-04.jpg –
– Another building where the character is buried under exterior cladding

shipping-05.jpg –
– Holyoke Cabin
shipping-06.jpg – Intermodal Design –
– Holyoke Cabin
shipping-07.jpg –
– Holyoke Cabin

shipping-08.jpg –
– Apartment structure in London built from shipping containers

shipping-09.jpg –
– Store in Zurich made from 17 containers

shipping-10.jpg –
– Containers are heavy, but not unmanageable. 40′ container weighs about 8000#

shipping-11.jpg – Inhabitat –

shipping-12.jpg – Inhabitat –
– Two views of a building using two 40′ containers in New York.