Container Spotlight: London’s Container City

Have you been to London’s Container City?

London's Container City I

Built in 2001 and expanded to several other properties, Container City has become a popular living and office space on Leamouth Peninsula.

In this container spotlight, we’ll look at how this unique space came to be and how it’s grown.

London’s Container City


Trinity Wharf is a small peninsula situated in South London’s Dockland area. Owned by Trinity House, the area had been used for manufacturing from 1809 until 1988.

After the city’s manufacturing activities dwindled, the site became available for redevelopment, while keeping the historic warehouses and buildings in place.

Trinity Wharf - Home to London's Container City

In 1997, a proposal to turn the old warehouses into studios and workshops, as well as housing that could be quickly and economically built.

A year later, Urban Space Management took over the site and began to revitalize the area, turning it into the arts and cultural center it is today.

Container City I


The First London Container City

The original Container City was built in 2001 and was completed in five months. It is three-stories high, with 12 work studios.

An additional floor was added in 2003 in order to accommodate more live and work apartments.

Reusing shipping containers, Container City I was just the first in a line of prefabricated steel modules that now cover the docklands.

Container City is home to many artists and creative businesses, including Artyface.

Artyface is one of the longest serving tenants within the area and works with schools, councils, businesses, and the community make murals, mosaics, and ceramics.

A year later, Container City 2 was built and has become one of the most recognizable buildings in the world.

London's Container City II

Container City II is adjacent to Container City I with an interconnected bridge and five floors of workspaces and 22 studios.

Like the first Container City, this second complex is also home to artists and businesses, such as The Prince’s Foundation.

The foundations has been located in Container City II since 2019 and delivers traditional building crafts and textile courses to students across the city.

Here’s a walkthrough video from London Viewpoints creator and architecture photographer Michael Tomas:

And here’s one featured on Channel 5’s Behind Closed Doors series:

More Trinity Buoy Warf Container Cities


Both Container City I and Container City II proved to be popular additions to the docklands, so much that a few years later, another building was added.

The Riverside Building became the third Container City in 2005, set on the banks of the River Thames.

Also five-stories, Riverside has 24 office spaces and features natural ventilation and light-sensitive external lighting.

Ten years later, in 2015, Clipper House became the fourth addition to Trinity Buoy Warf, created from the 2012 Olympic Broadcasting Studios.

The studios had previous been the tallest shipping container building in the world, standing at nine-stories high.

Other container projects on the docklands also include Studio EC, the smallest office space on the wharf and Music Boxes, 6 sound recording studios.

Container City Music Box

The Rise of Cargotecture


We’ve written several blogs on the rise of cargotecture, which is the concept of using shipping containers as building materials.

Using ISO steel containers for building purposes is not a new concept, however in the past few decades, more and more companies are looking into the practice.

Ways to Build with Shipping Containers Cargotecture Restaurant

Pop up shops, research & development technology parks, and even coffee shops have all been constructed from containers.

Shipping containers, also known as conex boxes, are low-cost when compared to traditional construction building costs, often by around 30%.

Containers are also very sustainable, helping to create eco-friendly structures that won’t harm the environment.

In this blog, we looked at the impressive sight that is London’s Container City.

Trinity Buoy Warf has gone through a tremendous transformation, from manufacturing hub to creative center.

If your business is interested in using shipping containers for an upcoming project, give our offices a call at 800.686.9114 or fill out the contact form below.


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