Having to struggle with space in modern houses and flats, a lot of people seek alternative solutions, such as building outdoor structures, adding a new floor to their houses or installing counters in their kitchens and platforms/decks in bedrooms. However, when resizing your rooms isn’t enough and there’s no other option, you should look into shipping containers and their purpose in modern homes – even though they’re not brand new structures and have been present on the market for some time, only now are they getting well-deserved attention and finding their purpose.

Urban Farm Unit project macro

Unusual Purpose

So, how can this huge structure primarily built for overseas transport of large objects be integrated into your home and what advantages does it bring? Shipping containers can enrich both your outdoors as well as indoors, and it’s only a matter of creativity and budgeting. First of all, they make great garages or sheds and can, with very little modifications, provide quality solutions for your crammed space. Also, you can transform them into workshops, space for children to play in, storage rooms or even guest houses – but that might need quite a bit of modification. As for your indoor projects, you can incorporate shipping containers into your house by inserting them into big rooms creating separate space, or even adjoining them to the existing house walls. And the best part is that one container can always be combined and connected to others!

Shipping Containers Garden

A Garden and a Farm in a Container

For all those who wish to have a personal garden or grow fruit and vegetables in an urban area, shipping containers are the right choice. They are transformed into portable farms that can be placed on building rooftops or even uninhabited spaces in cities. Moreover, these structures, also called “pods,” create an environment for themselves and are often self-sufficient and can produce about an acre’s worth of food even though they are only about thirty square meters big! Taking space of a living room or a slightly larger bedroom, these second hand containers are an effective and innovative solution that fits not only several types of vegetables, but also have a special addition to the roof where you can grow grass!Urban Farm Unit project inside

 

A Modern Solution from a Modern Designer

Not being completely satisfied with the initial concept of shipping containers-turned-gardens, designer Damien Chivialle created a new solution called “Urban Farm Unit” that, as the name suggests, takes the idea to the next level. Starting in 2010, his innovation combines several separate parts into a multi-level organization – there is a fish tank/pond on the lower level and a place for vegetables, herbs, small plants and flowers on the upper one, right in the sun, but that’s not nearly all. The thing with Chivialle’s solution that turns shipping containers into fully functioning gardens is the enabled circulation – water from the plants goes down and is stored in the fish tanks and is later, together with decomposed excrement of the fish, enriched by minerals and returned into the soil of the vegetables. By mimicking nature’s already present highly organized and quite perfect circular system, this solution brings urban gardens into a new phase and realizes their full potential.

 

Shipping Containers and More

It’s obvious how simple, everyday objects you didn’t consider useful and practical can be repurposed, recycled and given a new meaning. The same goes for shipping containers and their newly-found role in modern world – whether you want space to store your equipment and unused things, place for your garage or want to grow food in the urban environment, shipping containers are the right choice.

 

Image sources:

Yellow shipping container garden found on theownerbuildernetwork.co

Urban Farm Unit images found on inhabitat.com