Sunday, April 5, 2009


I was wandering all around the internets this morning and ran across some pictures of the 7Km Market, the World's Largest Shopping Center, located in Ukraine. It's built entirely out of shipping containers and although it's not very exciting architecture, it's certainly practical.

Although I'm sure that others have thought of it, I might as well re-think it this morning; why not create havens for the homeless with shipping containers? They are sturdy and they are waterproof. And they would create a safe environment for the occupants.

There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of these containers and in these days of reduced trade, most are empty.

I remember from my days as an estimator that the containers are always bought and sold and never rented. You buy one to ship your merchandise and sell the empty container at the port where it arrives. There are container brokers, of course, who will do the buying/selling for you and you will receive the current price in that location. And the current price has to be very low these days. Low enough so that just about any municipality could afford to put them in place for those who need shelter. And certainly cheaper than having the police rousting them every day. And since they are almost indestructible, the government agency would have tangible assets that could be used and re-used over a long period to time. Just a thought…

(This just in... 17 million shipping containers worldwide. And Bob Vila has a story about them)


7Km Shopping Center

Shipping Containers (Flickr)

Shipping Container Housing (Flickr)

Bob Vila Story


  1. Very cool!
    And these would make excellent shelters....I wonder who you'd contact to share this idea???

  2. I imagine that the internet would be the resource for finding interested parties...Bob Vila?

  3. Here's a link for another idea, by a California group called EDAR (Everybody Deserves a Roof):

    The Tiny House Blog has a lot of ideas and links to people doing interesting things, I know there was an article there a while back about converting containers to homes, but I couldn't find the link in a quick search of the site.