Container City

Thanks to trade deficits on specific shipping routes and the looming economic downturn, there is a growing surplus of shipping containers sitting under-utilised at docks across the world.

Consequently, they can be acquired for around $1,000 a pop. Their uniform size and super strength make for them to be an ideal building block to create a pre-fabricated home. Moreover, construction can be performed on-site in a matter of days, significantly reducing the total build cost.

London Container City

Think the interior will be cold and ugly? Think again. YouTube has a neat video showing Container City, the London residential/office development pictured above.

Given the grave difficultly in stepping onto the property ladder, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a quirky way to get acquire a bargain home.

I’m curious if it’d be possible to find a tiny plot that developers don’t desire and that could contain a couple of stacked containers. Or whether it would be viable to buy and later resell a property with a large enough garden to facilitate a new backyard development. Thoughts?

 Tags: Random   Published: 2nd April '08

8 Archived Wordpress Comments


Hi Keith,
I am doing university research on shipping container architecture and was wondering if you would allow me to use the above exterior image of container city. I will reference the image to your website. It will only be distributed within university institutions and not to the general public. I am hoping to find out why people prefer or do not prefer the external look of shipping containers when used as architectural elements. I am also looking at the portability and therefore possible adaptability shipping container architecture. Thanks.

Keith Mander

Hi Diana,

To be honest, it’s not a photograph I’ve taken – I just pinched it from another website. I’d suggest trying to find a copyright-free photo on Flickr, or just using mine – I’m sure it’d be fine for the purposes you describe.

Best of luck with your research.



Hi Keith,

Thanks for your reply and tips. :)


mpilo shangase

hi! I would like make an quoetation for cheapest of your containers. My busines wil be internet cafe.

Annie Warner

I am a student at University of East London and go to Trinity Bouy Wharf for projects sometimes. I am fascinated with the shipping containers and could you tell me where I could buy or hire one as an artist’s studio?

Annie Warner

I love the shipping containers, stacked high as office blocks or used as little houses. At Trinity Bouy Wharf they are also music studios. I want to buy or hire one to use as an artist’s studio, any idea how I can do that please?

Keith Mander

This is a good starting point Annie:

David J. Weber

it’s amazing

I’ve seen this Container building in Berlin some month ago.

Container buildings are a fascinating part of modern architecture. Maybe even of future Architecture.
in particular in times of “green movement”