The Spain-based architectural firms Hombre De Piedra and Buró4 recently designed and completed a cruise ship terminal in Seville, Spain that was constructed entirely out of repurposed shipping containers. They used 23 previously used shipping containers and repurposed or upcycled them into a 508 square meter (5,468 square feet) terminal. Before being repurposed the containers made about 29 trips around the world.


The shipping containers were precut off-site, before they were transported to the dock where the terminal now stands. The new terminal is suitable to be a multipurpose space, while it can also easily be expanded or moved should the need arise. The builders also only had 15 days to construct it, which is the maximum interval between cruise ships docking at the port. Due to the ease and speed of the construction process when working with shipping containers, they succeeded.

The 23 shipping containers were stacked into a 2-story structure, while most of the sides were cut away so as to maximize the interior space. They were placed in parallel arrangement and are separated from one another by a distance of one container width. In the areas where two containers were stacked atop each other, the bottom container features a double height ceiling. The designers didn’t try to hide the fact that the terminal is built out of shipping containers, instead deciding to celebrate the industrial past of their chosen building blocks.


The biggest problem faced by the new terminal will likely be solar heat gain, since the area is well known for high temperatures during the summer months. To alleviate this problem the designers painted the containers using a white paint, which according to them, contains special ceramic microspheres that can reflect up to 90% of solar radiation and therefore keep the interiors cool. How well this cooling method works will have to be tested in practice this summer. They also cut large windows into the containers, which will allow the occupants to create a cross breeze that will also cool the interior.



Apart from being the docking area for cruise ships, the space will also be used to host various exhibitions and shows.