Warehouses, storage spaces and shipping containers have what’s called the ‘the Ronseal factor’; they do exactly what it says on the tin. Their main purpose is the storage of goods – but is there more to the life-cycle of these simple, sturdy units? It’s 2018, and warehouses and even shipping containers have proven to be much more than just a void to be filled. In fact, they are incredibly versatile, which architects and businesses are recognising. As the world is crying out for a cleaner carbon footprint, perhaps creating contemporary spaces from these reused and recycled materials are just what we should be considering. 

Warehouse transformation

Warehouses are vast, which can often mean that a renovation would require a lot of work, racking up an extortionate bill. However, there seems to be an attraction in warehouses for clubs and venue spaces. Minus the odd touch-up, the space is already pretty much perfect for the use of night clubs, venue hires and events. The Warehouse Project is a series of converted nightclubs and music venues. Introduced in 2006, these old warehouses host concerts and music events. Similarly, Bristol’s biggest music and nightclub venues, Motion and the Marble Factory, are both refurbished Victorian warehouses. 

Shipping units

Shipping containers are one of the most creative pieces of architecture to play with at the moment. From restaurants to living spaces, these containers are a cheap way to convert industrial metal into something a little more than a hollow box. Take for example, Bristol’s shipping container complex, Wapping Wharf. The double-storied cargo containers are proudly situated on the city’s harbourside, where converted restaurants and bars from traditional fish and chips to Thai and tapas are buzzing with visitors and tourists. 

But it’s not only restaurants that seem to be sprucing up shipping containers. There’s now an appeal in making these metal spaces into homes. They make for a cheap and eco-friendly lifestyle, and are becoming not only a trendy living alternative, but a project for those with a creative streak. With the right planning and materials, you could create a multi-room container house. 

Taking inspiration from this eco-friendly habitat, Hannah and Tyler Bright decided to build their home using shipping containers. Blogging about the entire experience, Hannah and Tyler tell the story of how they built their 2,500-square-foot house out of five shipping containers in Oklahoma, claimed to be the first container home constructed in Tulsa County. Making the containers a feature of their home rather than its entire base, this gave more opportunities for a bigger living space and design authenticity. FORWARDER spoke to Hannah about their inspiration and experience incorporating containers in their architecture, changing their way of living.

 We were inspired to include shipping containers in the architecture of our home for a couple of reasons: we wanted to build an eco-friendly home ourselves, and for a lot less than a typical home you could purchase around our area. I believe we accomplished both. Building with shipping containers proved to be a little more difficult than we had assumed, the basic structure goes together fairly quickly, however making it aesthetically pleasing takes longer with a container house. 

It has been reported that the container shipping industry is costing around $20 billion per year, and one-third of ocean containers are empty at any given time. Container traffic is building up in ports, and there just isn’t the room to keep them idle. In Hannah and Tyler’s case, building a home with recycled materials was not only going to provide an exciting project, but fulfil their desire to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.  

We believe our home is more eco-friendly due to our decision to use shipping containers. We were able to build our home with very minimal wood, we were able to recycle our metal scraps, and we re-used existing containers instead of using virgin materials to build our home. We purchased our containers through a local dealer. While purchasing, the owner was able to pick out used containers that he thought would work great for our project. He chose ones that had minimal dents and patches and had a relatively nice floor. 

Building a home, restaurant or nightclub venue isn’t just about the practicalities, it’s about appreciating the diversity of storage capacities. What was once intended to be filled with goods can be converted into a new-found space, all whilst making memories. 

Although difficult at times, I would recommend others to build using shipping containers, but lots of research needs to be done first if they plan on building on their own. Hannah Bright, Bright Container House

Want to know more? www.brightcontainerhouse.com 

Image credits: Ashley Daly, Retrodentulsa.com

Rachel Jefferies, Editor, FORWARDER magazine  

Warehouses, storage spaces and shipping containers have what’s called the ‘the Ronseal factor’; they do exactly what it says on the tin. Their main purpose is the storage of goods – but is there more to the life-cycle of these simple, sturdy units? It’s 2018, and warehouses and even shipping containers have proven to be much more than just a void to be filled. In fact, they are incredibly versatile, which architects and businesses are recognising. As the world is crying out for a cleaner carbon footprint, perhaps creating contemporary spaces from these reused and recycled materials are just what we should be considering. 

Warehouse transformation

Warehouses are vast, which can often mean that a renovation would require a lot of work, racking up an extortionate bill. However, there seems to be an attraction in warehouses for clubs and venue spaces. Minus the odd touch-up, the space is already pretty much perfect for the use of night clubs, venue hires and events. The Warehouse Project is a series of converted nightclubs and music venues. Introduced in 2006, these old warehouses host concerts and music events. Similarly, Bristol’s biggest music and nightclub venues, Motion and the Marble Factory, are both refurbished Victorian warehouses. 

Shipping units

Shipping containers are one of the most creative pieces of architecture to play with at the moment. From restaurants to living spaces, these containers are a cheap way to convert industrial metal into something a little more than a hollow box. Take for example, Bristol’s shipping container complex, Wapping Wharf. The double-storied cargo containers are proudly situated on the city’s harbourside, where converted restaurants and bars from traditional fish and chips to Thai and tapas are buzzing with visitors and tourists. 

But it’s not only restaurants that seem to be sprucing up shipping containers. There’s now an appeal in making these metal spaces into homes. They make for a cheap and eco-friendly lifestyle, and are becoming not only a trendy living alternative, but a project for those with a creative streak. With the right planning and materials, you could create a multi-room container house. 

Taking inspiration from this eco-friendly habitat, Hannah and Tyler Bright decided to build their home using shipping containers. Blogging about the entire experience, Hannah and Tyler tell the story of how they built their 2,500-square-foot house out of five shipping containers in Oklahoma, claimed to be the first container home constructed in Tulsa County. Making the containers a feature of their home rather than its entire base, this gave more opportunities for a bigger living space and design authenticity. FORWARDER spoke to Hannah about their inspiration and experience incorporating containers in their architecture, changing their way of living.

 We were inspired to include shipping containers in the architecture of our home for a couple of reasons: we wanted to build an eco-friendly home ourselves, and for a lot less than a typical home you could purchase around our area. I believe we accomplished both. Building with shipping containers proved to be a little more difficult than we had assumed, the basic structure goes together fairly quickly, however making it aesthetically pleasing takes longer with a container house. 

It has been reported that the container shipping industry is costing around $20 billion per year, and one-third of ocean containers are empty at any given time. Container traffic is building up in ports, and there just isn’t the room to keep them idle. In Hannah and Tyler’s case, building a home with recycled materials was not only going to provide an exciting project, but fulfil their desire to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.  

We believe our home is more eco-friendly due to our decision to use shipping containers. We were able to build our home with very minimal wood, we were able to recycle our metal scraps, and we re-used existing containers instead of using virgin materials to build our home. We purchased our containers through a local dealer. While purchasing, the owner was able to pick out used containers that he thought would work great for our project. He chose ones that had minimal dents and patches and had a relatively nice floor. 

Building a home, restaurant or nightclub venue isn’t just about the practicalities, it’s about appreciating the diversity of storage capacities. What was once intended to be filled with goods can be converted into a new-found space, all whilst making memories. 

Although difficult at times, I would recommend others to build using shipping containers, but lots of research needs to be done first if they plan on building on their own. Hannah Bright, Bright Container House

Want to know more? www.brightcontainerhouse.com 

Image credits: Ashley Daly, Retrodentulsa.com

Rachel Jefferies, Editor, FORWARDER magazine