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As our selection below illustrates, today shipping container houses (or more broadly shipping container buildings) are quite common. Shipping container architecture is sometimes also known as 'cargotecture' and the containers are sometimes called 'arkitainers'.
In 1956 Malcom McLean, an American trucking entrepreneur, invented shipping containers (also known as cargo containers and sea container) and used them to transport trailer vans on a refitted tank ship from New Jersey to Texas. Little did he know at the time that, many years later, his idea would ever be mentioned in architectural terms.
Actually, it didn’t take long for the shipping container architecture idea to come along. Reyner Banham was the first to consider it as a possibility. In the late 1960s, he said in essay about ports that cargo containers are like a type of ‘plug and play’ architecture.
However, the first shipping container house was not built until two decades later. In 1986, the first shipping container design was completed, and a house was built in the Netherlands (see below). Then, in 1987, Phillip Clark came up with his own shipping container design and built a house in the US.
As our selection below illustrates, today shipping container houses (or more broadly shipping container buildings) are quite common. Shipping container architecture is sometimes also known as ‘cargotecture’ and the containers are sometimes called ‘arkitainers’.
Why is shipping container architecture popular
Shipping containers, used as building materials, offer a range of benefits. They are inherently strong, come ready-made, and can handle all types of harsh environments. They can be easily transported by train, truck, or sea (indeed, this is exactly what they are designed for), and can be easily stacked to create shipping container buildings of various sizes.
On top of that, building a shipping container house is quite simple. Conversion is not difficult, and they are relatively inexpensive and can be modified to suit a range of applications. Add to that a certain grungy appeal, and it is understandable that many see them as a winner. Software helps come up with a renovated design.
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