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5 Surprising Uses for a Shipping Container

If you thought that used shipping containers rusted away quietly in dockyards, you will be amazed by the innovative and even lifesaving uses they have been put to. Here are just a few examples of repurposed containers.


1. Creativity hubs — In Manchester’s Pollard Yard, a creative community has sprung up in just a few months. In the formerly neglected post-industrial area close to Piccadilly Station, there is everything from fashion design houses to film studios. There are over 75 containers with wired in electricity and Wi-Fi. Rents are low and they are quickly snapped up by start-ups and lonely freelancers who are looking for a co-working space.


2. Pop-up hospitals —At the peak of Italy’s coronavirus crisis in March, hospitals overflowed and patients were left in corridors. A group of architects and engineers responded by designing a fully functional two-bed intensive care unit inside a 20-foot shipping container. Low-cost and easily mobile, the designers have made the plans freely available and hope they can be used worldwide.


3. Swimming pools — Quite literally turning a concept on its head, shipping containers can be converted into fully functional backyard pools. They are not merely oversized paddling pools; heating, lighting, ladders and filters are fitted as standard. They don’t even require planning permission!


4. Schools — If extra classrooms are needed in a hurry, then shipping containers which have been converted into extended spaces are the perfect solution. There are hundreds of examples throughout the UK.


5. Floating houses — In Copenhagen harbour, shipping containers are stacked on floating platforms to create student halls of residence. The nine containers have been converted into 15 studio apartments, and are even arranged to create a communal garden!


Of course, people also buy shipping containers to use as sheds, shelters, shops, and countless other things. They are widely available for purchase and delivery throughout the UK.

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