Efficient Floor Plan Ideas Inspired By Shipping Container Homes

Container homes have become almost mainstream lately, with more and more inspiring designs and cool ideas popping up constantly. Design-wise, each project is unique and different from the others, meant to appeal to certain types of people or to adapt to particular climates or locations. One thing that most shipping container homes for sale seem to have in common is a small footprint and a floor plan that’s optimized to pack as much functionality in as little space as possible. We’re going to explore this idea in more detail through the examples that follow.

The Container Guest House designed by Poteet Architects

This container home was designed and built by Poteet Architects, a studio known for their efforts to work with reclaimed materials and to adapt and constantly evolve in the sphere of modern interior design. They built this structure for a client located in San Antonio, United States. It serves as a guest house and it has a simple and linear layout and large windows and sliding glass doors which connect the structure to its surroundings and let light and nature in.

Off-grid container house by Studio H:T

When Studio H:T designed this house they focused on space-efficiency as well as on making this an off-grid retreat which can do well in remote areas. It takes advantage of the natural light, has a green roof, a stove and photovoltaic panels. From a structural point of view, it’s composed of three sections. There’s the taller module at the center which contains the entryway, living room, dining area and the loft above and two whipping container sections, one on each side, providing additional living space.

El Tiemblo House by James & Mau


Not all shipping container structures are small. In fact, there are some pretty huge ones out there but when it comes to residences size usually varies based on what each design is trying to accomplish. This, for example, is a 190 square meter house built by studio James & Mau. It has an L-shaped floor plan and interior spaces organized on two floors. The living room, kitchen and bathroom are placed on the ground floor and the master bedroom suite and a study occupy the upstairs volume. There’s also a guest area which forms the L shape.

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Casa RDP

When architects Daniel Moreno Flores and Sebastian Calero started working on this project, they decided to use shipping containers simply because it made sense based on their client’s character (a person always interested in the mechanics, on how the pieces move and how the mechanism works, with a passion for old clocks and cars). At the same time, containers also allowed them to keep the cost of the project low. The result was the RDP House, a building with a strong connection to the outdoors emphasized both in its design and floor plan.

The HO4 by Honomobo

The HO4 container home designed by Honomobo is 32 ft wide and 24 ft deep with a simple and efficient layout. It includes two bedrooms, a living room, a dining area, a full kitchen and a bathroom. Everything fits inside four repurposed shipping containers. It’s ready to work with solar panels in case you decide to take off-the-grid and it a glazed facade and large openings which let the light and the outdoors in.

The VOR 640 by MekaWorld

A lot of times shipping container homes have a strong industrial and cold appearance but that’s actually not the case with VOR 640 which is a compact structure designed and built by MekaWorld. With its wood=paneled exterior and small but cozy footprint, this container house contains a kitchen, a bedroom, a bathroom and a living room, with a total surface of 60 square meters (640 square feet, hence the name). It also has a small terrace which acts as a buffer between the indoor and outdoor areas.

The Luckdrops container house

The Luckdrops container homes are designed to be minimalistic and space-efficient and they include modern amenities and elegant finishes. All these elements put together create a stylish and comfortable environment. The design maximizes space and efficiency and the steel shell ensures that the house is strong, durable and secure and can withstand wind, fire, show, floods and earthquakes. Each unit is built with a single shipping container.

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Casa Liray by ARQtainer

Casa Liray is a shipping container home with floor plan measuring 115 square meters total. It was completed by studio ARQtainer back in 2010 and you can find it in Hill, Chile. It was meant to be a low cost, earthquake resistant structure and it has to be built in a short period of time. Given all these requirements, using shipping containers made a lot of sense and helped the architects achieve all their goals. The result was this modern L-shaped container house that’s able to adapt to a variety of different environments and conditions.

Container beach house by Pablo Errázuriz

Located in Canela Baja, in Chile, this beach retreat may be small but at the same time it’s also very cool.. It was designed by Pablo Errázuriz and was made using a reclaimed shipping container clad with corten steel plates and wooden boards. It has a covered deck and a roof terrace and it offers a variety of advantages such as the low cost and the fact that it requires very little maintenance. It’s a nice option for short vacations weekend getaways.

The 2070 Live/ Work studio

The 2070 Live/ Work studio, as the name of the project suggests, was designed to serve as a home and workspace. It was designed and built by Sundog Structures using seven shipping containers and has an interesting floor plan. There’s a vertical tower and two box-like volumes stacked one on top of the other. Inside there’s space for two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a studio, gallery space, two bathrooms and a small patio. It’s an interesting combo complemented by a cool and modern design.



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