When talking about shipping containers, most people picture a large steel box used for transporting cargo. Whilst this is true, given the structural stability and versatility, a container can be converted for many different uses.
Thinking Outside The (Metal) Box
A container provides a ‘blank canvas’ for a wide range of projects in various industries. Shipping containers are versatile and often a cheaper alternative to a permanent building.
There are many applications for converted containers in the hospitality industry. A refrigerated container, for example, can extend your food storage capabilities during peak seasons.
There are also plenty who have converted containers into holiday lets. A container can make a compact and unique holiday home. Thanks to their versatility, a cargo container can be transformed from a cold metal box to a luxurious home from home. Containers are transportable and can be placed in a variety of desirable locations for holiday makers to enjoy.
Creating pop-up container bars, cafes and restaurants has become very popular in the catering industry. Containers can readily be adapted to be suitable to serve food and drink.
Serving hatches with room for menus and personnel doors to replace large cargo doors can be installed in a container to make it more suited for functional food service. Applying a wipe-down melamine lining can help keep the food preparation area hygienic. Appliances can even be used inside the container with an added electrical supply installed when converting the unit. From a humble garden bar container at the back of a pub, to a large container retail park such as BoxPark in London, there are many ways caterers can utilise a converted container to bring something special to their service offering.
We have already touched on individual shipping container holiday lets, but this isn’t the only use of a container in the travel industry. Modular hotels can be erected in a short amount of time using converted containers stacked together.
Converted containers also play an important role at airports and train stations too. Containers can be adapted to store hazardous materials. This is ideal for airports that need extra storage for fuel. Converted containers can also store batteries to create energy storage units. Having purpose-built storage onsite can reduce downtime when refuelling, contributing to the smooth running of a transport system.
Shipping containers can be used for lots of different home applications – you can even create a container house from them! Containers are ideally suited for storage use, so can be used in gardens as sheds or tool storage. They can also be used to store furniture when renovating a house or moving.
There has been a rise in flexible working and working from home since the pandemic. It’s important when working from home to create a space to concentrate on work and separate work from home life. Many people are creating their own office spaces from converted containers. Transforming a container into an office involves lining the container with melamine or plywood, installing electrics and adding personnel doors and windows.
You can see from our examples that there are clearly no limits on the applications of converted containers. The conversions team at S Jones have converted many containers into a vast array of uses. From mobile clinics and laboratories, to wildlife hotels and workshops, the versatility of a shipping container means it can be converted into almost any application.
Our expert team design and manufacture your bespoke container conversion in-house. This offers full control of the project start to finish, so we can meet your exact specification.
Our Favourites At S Jones
We’re often approached with creative and unique ideas for container conversions, and here are a few of our favourites from over the years:
Wahaca’s “Pop-up” Container Restaurant
Mexican street food restaurant Wahaca wanted to create a “pop-up” restaurant in London’s South Bank. The architect in charge of the project envisioned a bright, bold and quirky design for the restaurant. To achieve this, eight converted containers were fitted together on two-storeys to provide dining space for 130 people. The interlinked open spaces included panoramic windows, offering spectacular views over the Thames from an elevated position.
Coventry University’s State of The Art Battery Storage
Collaborating with global engineering specialist FEV Group, Coventry University developed a state-of-the-art low carbon technology centre. To test and improve on future-proof powertrain concepts, the university installed a fire-resistant lithium battery store made from a converted 20ft container. The innovative container included ATEX Zone II interior electrical and HVAC installations, explosion venting and fire protected storage shelving.
Hamilton Ice Sculptors’ Christmas Market Container Bars
The team at Hamilton Ice Sculptors Ltd needed a quirky bar area to serve food and drinks at Manchester’s famous Christmas Market. Three 20ft shipping containers were transformed into an alfresco bar, complete with new serving hatches, ply-line insulation, sinks, electrics and worktops to create a functional bar.
If you’re interested in a bespoke container, get in touch with one of our conversion experts at S Jones Containers.