Building with Shipping Containers: Oklahoma

May 10, 2018

Maybe you are very interested in building with shipping containers because it helps reduce the costs of constructing container homes, workshops, and even tornado shelters Maybe you are interested because they are cheaper than some other materials, or stronger. Whatever your reasons, sometimes it’s just fun to look at the ways other people have managed to use them for their own ideas. Today, we’ll be looking at three different projects from the state of Oklahoma to give you a little inspiration about what can be done when you’re building with shipping containers.

Sasquatch Shaved Ice

Street side snow cone stand made from a shipping container

(Images from the Sasquatch Shaved Ice Facebook page.

In Oklahoma City, some brave and inventive entrepreneurs decided to start a “nonprofit that employs low-income youth from the Classen Ten-Penn neighborhood     of Oklahoma City”. But instead of creating just any wooden, run-of-the-mill snow cone stand, these guys went another step by creating theirs out of a storage container.

As you can see in more of the photos they shared on their Facebook page, these guys put in plenty of work turning their modest storage container into a full-fledged snow cone stand that stands out and is unlike any other! All thanks to a storage container that otherwise would have stayed in a yard and rusted away.

Red 20-foot shipping container cut in half
Stainless steel kitchen sink with blue and wood cabinets next to a window
raw drywall with a new storm window built into a shipping container

Inner Circle Vodka’s Patio

shipping containers being used as patio seating at a bar in downtown Tulsa

(Image from Inner Circle Vodka Bar's Facebook page:

Inner Circle Vodka Bar came to Tuff Box when they wanted a covered area on their patio and we provided them with these used storage containers to use for covered shelters. While not necessarily “built” into their space, they did a clever job of adding heaters, signage, lights, and seating to put these storage containers to a new use.

Bright Container House

colorful modern living room in a shipping container tiny home

(Images from

The Brights are a family in Oklahoma that decided they wanted a house and they were going to be building with shipping containers! They got their first permits on September 9, 2011 and began building after that. If you want to follow through the entire process, they created a website that stands in memorial of all the hard work they put into building their house, including just about every step they went through, as well. The end result is a stunning home and well-built all due to the use of reusable shipping containers.

Brown two story house with stone walls wrapping a shipping container construction


Red shipping container park being used for retail stores

(Image from

Architect Wade Scaramucci showed how a total of 17 storage containers can be bolted and clamped together rather than welded, possibly saving time and money on this project in Oklahoma City’s “Deep Deuce” area. The second floor of the development contains offices including one two-story high space with a great view of downtown Oklahoma City. The top of the lower storage containers has been converted into patios.

On the ground floor, there is a bar and restaurant named Anchor Down. The two top spaces are now housing the Belle Kitchen Bakery and Cafe as well as a juice and smoothie bar called Wheeze the Juice.

The Showroom

yellow grey and white shipping containers being used for a contemporary art museum

(Image from

Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center’s Showroom is currently housed in four repurposed storage containers which overlook Oklahoma City’s Campbell Park. The     Showroom features exhibitions, events, and a growing art library.

The Showroom is also home to a monthly event for discussions on culture and art, as well as performances by local artists called Share at the Showroom. You can learn more at their Facebook page.

Nuyaka Creek Winery Wine Cellar

stainless steel shipping container doors build into the ground

(Image from

At the Nuyaka Creek Winery, they ingeniously built a wine cellar using a refrigerated shipping container. While the details aren’t published, it looks very likely that they buried an old, used refrigerated shipping container in the ground, while leaving its doors available and adding a decorative touch, so it wouldn’t just be a refrigerated shipping container buried in the ground with stonework retaining walls.

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