10 July 2015

Innovative Container Creations in South Africa

The use of containers for structural developments has seen increasing popularity throughout the world. From low cost housing to swimming pools and low cost accommodation, the versatility of shipping containers is exceptional. South Africa has been on the cutting edge of these structural trends and has pounced on the opportunity to utilise containers in creative and functional ways.

Seed library JHB

Seed Library in Alexandra. Photo credit:

In 2011, the Architects of Justice unveiled their colourful SEED library at MC Weiler Primary School in Alexandra, Johannesburg.  The library was constructed from two retired shipping containers that were stacked on top of each other at a 90 degree angle. This semi-permanent building was designed to create an inspiring space through the use of colour, shape, light and outdoor space. The containers were manufactured off-site and transported on trucks to the school where they were assembled. The result of this innovative use of shipping containers is a fully functional, comprehensive and colourful library which encourages and inspires reading.

27 Boxes Melville

27 Boxes, Melville. Photo credit:

 27 Boxes is a new addition to Johannesburg’s trendy Melville shopping district and the first of its kind in South Africa. This retail centre has been constructed from shipping containers and the design is a reflection of similar projects in London, Paris and Christchurch. Shipping containers are significantly cheaper than conventional brick structures which and are becoming recognised as a cost-effective alternative. The use of recycled containers also gives them eco-status, making 27 boxes one of South Africa’s most environmentally friendly shopping centres. As a result of the significantly lower construction costs, 27 Boxes is able to offer reduced rentals when compared to other shopping centre rental rates. 27 Boxes hopes to encourage imaginative entrepreneurs, artists and craftsmen to sell items that cannot be found in typical shopping centre chain stores.

27 Boxes Retail Centre

27 Boxes, Melville. Photo credit:

Container World will be exploring more of South Africa’s container creations later this month. For more information on our range of container products from office to off-shore containers, ablution to accommodation containers, contact Container World today.