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Shipping Container Applications Proving Versatile Across Pennsylvania



Shipping container uses in Pennsylvania vary widely, partially because the state is so large and the landscape varies. There are big cities (Pittsburgh and Philadelphia), rural areas (Lancaster County), and areas bordering water (Erie). 

Shipping containers are being customized and refurbished for storage, mobile offices, entertainment venues, or even modular housing or cabins. This blog will highlight a few unique applications happening all around the Commonwealth. 

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Couple adds shipping container to 144-year-old brick home in central Pennsylvania.

A couple from Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, in the north-central part of the state, needed more space than their current brick home could offer. Moving wasn't an option because they were embedded in the neighborhood. Expanding with a traditional wood-frame addition didn’t excite them, either.

So, they did what more and more homeowners in Pennsylvania are doing – they thought outside the box and explored the use of shipping containers for living quarters. After some research and the help of some professionals, they’re now enjoying living and dining in a 40-foot shipping container.

“The container completely changed our lives,” Dror Yaron said in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette news story. “The feeling is very different.”

His wife added: “We were looking for more light and more space. We were missing daylight.”

Their newly renovated home includes an 8-foot-wide steel container with large cutouts for windows, a front door, and a covered porch. It was added to their 1889 brick row house in Lawrenceville. 

Project architects developed a central hall design that links the new living/dining space and porch with the kitchen, family room, and office in the old house. 

Read more about the project and watch a time-lapse video of the project:



Shipping containers used to build art studio space in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

According to a news story in the Lancaster County News, Jen Quigley, an acclaimed artist in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was having trouble finding reasonably-priced studio space downtown. For the amount of rent she had been paying, she thought about just buying a building.

But then she heard about a local couple’s plan to develop an artists’ community that included 15 affordable studios made out of recycled steel shipping containers. The project, named Enclave, was developed in the backyard of 210 W. Grant St., a historic warehouse that was converted into a co-working space.

To make the artists’ spaces affordable, the couple chose 20 shipping containers as the construction materials. Each container weighs about 8,000 pounds and measures 20 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 9.5 feet tall

The shipping container makeover included installing windows and entrance doors, adding insulation, running water, electricity, and an HVAC system. The exterior was painted dark gray, and the door frames were painted black. Learn more about shipping container paint here.

Read more:

Shipping container pop-up retail park in Philadelphia

An MR Magazine blog post featured a unique use of shipping containers in a parking lot at the corner of Germantown Avenue and 2nd Street in Philadelphia. A local developer used refurbished shipping containers to transform the space into the region’s most unique dining and recreation area.

The 35,000 square foot area in the Northern Liberties neighborhood became a pop-up mixed-use park. According to the article, Piazza Pod Park includes dining, shopping, art, fitness areas, and play areas for kids. Dogs are allowed, and capacity is up to 300 people. The area is open to the public every day.

The four-month project included 15 custom shipping container units ranging from 10-feet to 40-feet-long. The shipping containers were painted and included air-conditioning, upper deck systems, glass windows, and doors, LED light fixtures, powered retractable awnings, insulation, HVAC, oak flooring, stereo systems, and more.

“Britten worked tirelessly to suit our shipping container fit-out needs for the centerpiece of Piazza Pod Park, a project novel to Philadelphia,” said Hayley Schneider, an associate at Post Brothers, the developer who took on the project. 

Read more and see photos of the park

Individuals and commercial developers throughout Pennsylvania are discovering the benefits and versatility of shipping containers. To shop for shipping containers in Philadelphia for storage, business or other needs, click here