14 Exterior House Shipping Container Prefab Design Photos And Ideas

Transforming shipping containers into habitable spaces is a growingly popular subset of prefab. Just off the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, Martha Moseley and Bill Mathesius adapted an unused concrete foundation to create a home made from 11 stacked shipping containers. "We were inspired by the site, and our desire to have something cool and different," says Moseley.
Amagansett Modular House by MB Architecture
A glassed-in walkway connects the open-plan living areas to a separate bedroom wing.
The architecture follows the natural contours of the wedge-shaped site: the building is placed on higher ground on the site’s wider east end, while exterior decking steps down to the pool to the west.
“The structural design of the 10' pop-out on the second floor is unique. There are no beams under it—it looks afloat,” explains Behrooz, who notes that the pop-out was originally cut down from a 20-foot container. “Technically it is not a cantilever—but it is structured from the top (roof) and held back in tension, down to the foundation on the opposite side. It’s kind of a structural breakthrough—we used the inherent structural strength of the containers to our advantage.”
The architects applied BM marine-grade paint to the containers’ corrugated metal walls. The home is deliberately compact to match the scale of the neighborhood homes
A glimpse into one of two bedrooms housed in the single, 40-foot container placed on the north side of the site.
The container house is designed to wrap around an existing oak tree.
Known as the "project that kicked off Cargotecture," Hybrid’s Studio 320 was fabricated in 2004 and delivered to Enumclaw, Washington. The interior is lined in reclaimed plywood formerly used on the bleachers of a local high school gym.
Established in 1997, Artisans Group in Olympia designs modern homes throughout the greater Seattle and Portland areas. Their design-build models allow the company to provide full design services, and thanks to a partnership with Phoenix Haus—a Passive House panel fabricator—they are now able to develop Passive House prefab homes.
Based in Wynwood, Florida, Wyn-Box constructed their model container home out of two used cargo containers. The 640-square-foot, one-bedroom showroom was designed by architects Ruslanas Byckovas and Ethan Royal with Ryan Anderson, a business developer, and boasts a stainless steel kitchen, porcelain gray tile, and a modern, clean gray exterior.
Functioning as a vacation rental for tourists, entrepreneur Rick Clegg combined old shipping containers to create a four-bedroom home with an eco twist near Palm Beach, Florida. Because of the container's inherent durability, they meet Florida's stringent construction standards, and the compactness of the home, the low carbon footprint because of the use of the recycled, prefabricated containers, and the home's proximity to the Loxahatchee River, make it ideal for ecotourists.
Poteet replaced one wall with a large steel-and-glass lift-and-slide window wall, which he says makes the best use of indirect light. “The big sliding door and picture window make the 250-square-foot living space feel big,” says Hill.

Zoom out for a look at the modern exterior. From your dream house, to cozy cabins, to loft-like apartments, to repurposed shipping containers, these stellar projects promise something for everyone. Explore a variety of building types with metal roofs, wood siding, gables, and everything in between.