If they’ve already paved paradise and put up a parking lot, an innovative way to use a vacant lot or urban space in decay is to introduce an old shipping container. We’ve noticed container shops and restaurants popping up from San Francisco to London to Christchurch, New Zealand. The mall of the future, it seems, is one that brings resourceful architecture and small businesses together. Here are 10 of our favorite uses of castoff containers.
Above: Jon Darsky’s Del Popolo Pizza Truck is made from a transatlantic shipping container mounted to a Freightliner M2 truck. The container houses a 5,000-pound Stefano Ferrara wood-fired brick oven to make Darsky’s Neapolitan pizza. For more, see our post Gastronomy on the Move: Del Popolo Pizza Truck. Above: Open from 2011 to 2015 in Shoreditch, London, Boxpark was a shopping mall made from stripped and refitted shipping containers for a series of low-cost, pop-up stores. Above: San Francisco floral designer Baylor Chapman’s shop, Lila B. Design, utilizes a shipping container as office and retail space alongside her open-air floral studio. For more on the shop, read our post on Gardenista, Lila B. Design at Stable Café in SF’s Mission District. Above: An inspired shipping container pop-up restaurant from an unexpected source: Hellmann’s mayonnaise company opened a tiny restaurant to serve free sandwiches for a day in Copenhagen, Denmark. Above: Set up temporarily for Design Forum Finland in Helsinki, SIS Deli & Café featured a fully functioning bakery with Tassel Lamps by Aalto & Aalto and furniture by Tero Kuitunen, two up-and-coming Finnish design studios. Above: Evergreen Brickworks, an environmental community center in Toronto, has a welcome hut made from a repurposed 20-square-foot shipping container that architect Levitt Goodman renovated and painted bright green. He installed a rainwater chain to direct excess water into a rain barrel on the side of the hut. (Intrigued by rainwater chains? Have a look at Gardenista’s 10 Easy Pieces on Rain Chains.) Above: In collaboration with Muvbox, a company that specializes in shipping container conversions, product designers Guillaume Noiseux and Guillaume Sasseville opened Porchetta Box, a temporary restaurant in Montreal during the summer of 2012. Photograph courtesy of Guillaume Noiseux via Design Boom. Above: Architects Envelope A+D, members of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory, put a shipping container to use when designing Suppenküche’s outdoor German biergarten. The restaurant is part of the Proxy Project in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood. For more, see Restaurant Visit: Suppenküche Biergarten in SF. Photograph by Janet Hall for Remodelista. Above: In London’s Southbank, Softroom Architects designed a two-story building from eight shipping containers for Mexican restaurant Wahaca. The upper story container has an outdoor terrace on one side and large sliding glass doors on the other. Above: Envelope A+D collaborated with Thierry Gaugain and Chris French Metal Studio to design the storefront for LA-based tech clothing company Aether. The shop, located in SF’s Hayes Valley, is built from three stacked shipping containers. To see more, go to The Shipping News: Aether in SF Opens.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on April 23, 2014.