The Many Architectural Applications of Shipping Containers vol.3

Shipping containers  are a convenient construction material for building affordable real estate for personal housing, business facilities or leisure activities. They can also be used in public transportation industry. At least by building ship terminals and train stations.

Barneveld Noord by NL Architects

A dutch architects company NL Architects has designed a new shipping container railway station that makes passengers’ waiting experience more comfortable.


They wanted a cheap and light material that would be easy to put together and take apart. Therefore they used shipping containers to build this structure that consists four containers. Three of them work as a roof above glazed waiting room. One container is an open-bottom container creating more space while two other horizontally installed closed containers build storage. The fourth container has been flipped upwards to create a clock tower. The tower has a bathroom with natural light coming from the glazed ceiling window.

Barneveld Noord by NL Architects

 Shipping containers can be modified easily with cutting or welding. Thereby they are also easy to be retrofitted into their surroundings. Most of the containers are also equipped with generators.


Another new application for shipping containers was invented by the design companies Hombre de Piedra and  buró4 who built a cruise terminal out of shipping containers in the port of Seville in 2013.

They only needed 45 days in total to finish the project. Installing 23 shipping containers in a 500 square meter area took only two weeks. Therefore the installation costs were not high just like the terminal’s energy production costs. The terminal is naturally ventilated and it can be easily moved if necessary. The buildings’ bioclimatic solutions also ensure that it does not get hot in the terminal during Seville’s hot summers.

Shanghai Metal Corporation sells standardized  shipping containers internationally. We also make prefabricated shipping container housing and office solutions. Please visit our website on containers and container buildings for detailed descriptions. Follow us also on these social media platforms.


Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Sources: See our blogs on the train station and cruise terminal.

Continue to chapter 4

Please use the the social media boxes below to SHARE this article to reach all the friends of shipping container architecture everywhere.


In Container Homes Winter Is Always Outside

Shipping containers are a superior building material and the mainstream for affordable housing. As a form of prefabricated construction, shipping containers houses can to huge extent be built elsewhere than in their final destination. In order for shipping containers to become livable homes, they need a makeover including a proper insulation.

Shipping containers are usually described as an optimum construction material for areas with relatively high temperatures. The reason is that there are well know techniques on how make shipping container houses naturally ventilated. For instance the shipping container cruise terminal in Seville is designed to resist high temperatures during hot summers.


Shipping containers are also suitable for places where winters are long and cold, and where it snows a lot. Originally shipping containers were designed to resist rough weather in the seas during shipping and therefore shipping containers later became an excellent building material. It seems that shipping container architecture was invented like Coca-Cola – by accident.

There are examples of shipping container winter homes that are suitable for Northern countries such as Northern USA, Canada, Finland and other Nordic countries.  For instance an American real estate agent Jeffrey White is transforming shipping containers into affordable and eco-friendly homes for low-income families in Salt Lake City. Each home is made out of two shipping containers, and the whole projects costs 120,000 dollars including the land they sit on. (source)


In order to build beautiful homes like these, the shipping containers need to be enforced with proper insulation. In Shanghai Metal Corporation we sell both shipping containers and highly moisture resistant glass wool for insulation.  Our prefabricated container homes come with polystyrene foam insulation. If you are building affordable homes we will gladly offer you all the material. Just send us an inquiry and our English speaking staff will contact you. Meanwhile please visit our social media sites for future updates.


Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: The Fair Verona, Jetson Green, Small Cabin Plans, Tiny House Blog, Inhabitat