The Container Bar, so named because it is made entirely of recycled shipping containers has recently opened its doors in Austin, Texas. The bar was designed and built by North Arrow Studio in collaboration with Henley | Knowles Design Studio and the project took about three years to be fully realized.
The two-story bar is constructed using several recycled or upcycled shipping containers to create a structure that is expansive despite the fact that nothing was done to try and enlarge the inherent size of the shipping container building blocks. The Container Bar is designed in a way that forms several unique outdoor and indoor, or enclosed spaces. The bar features a double-height bar while the whole bar is covered by a floating roof structure. The roof gives protection from the elements as well as helps frame the internal courtyard.
Several standard sized containers were stacked or otherwise used in the construction of the bar. Apart from cutting out the openings for windows and doors, these containers have been left in pretty much the original state, at least when viewed from the outside. But on the inside, they were successfully transformed into a series of cozy private rooms where no one would guess they were actually in a container.
For the most part all the indoor spaces have hardwood floors installed, but the walls and ceilings of each are wholly different and unique. One of them even bears a mural created by local artist Michelle Marchesseault.
The main reason why it took so long from conception to opening day was difficulty securing the necessary permits. Since construction using shipping containers is still a relatively new notion in most of the country the bureaucracy involved can take a log time. Another hurdle was working with a construction medium that many on the team were unfamiliar with. But Bridget Dunlop of North Arrow Studio, whose brainchild the Container Bar is, persevered and was finally able to show her critics what determination can achieve.