In Amsterdam, shipping container homes are plentiful, dotting the city with colour and life. The Dutch are notorious for being tall and living small – and doing so with style. While there, I saw a 4-storey narrow width container home, constructed with open ends, each of which was a different colour. It was amazing and quite weird.

PHOTO: 4-story container home

I was inspired by the architect’s sense of fun and function, and by the playfulness of the design. Container homes provide an economical opportunity to play with design principles, with colour and form and to do so with abandon.

Another famous container housing project in Amsterdam is the Keetwonen student housing dorm. It’s a small town made of blocks of container modules stacked on top of each other. The result is affordable, comfortable, and safe housing for students.


There has been a lot of global interest in the Keetwonen recycled container student homes. The success of this project has spread the word about Tempohousing, the innovative builder behind Keetwonen that focuses on mass-produced shipping container home construction projects.  Tempohousing has recently proposed affordable housing options for refugees using shipping containers.