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Conex Boxes Transformed into Police Boxes

Corten steel shipping containers of all sizes have been repurposed into an incredible range of uses by enterprising architects and interior designers all over the world, but even we were surprised when we spotted police forces getting in on the act. Conex boxes have now been converted into police boxes and other facilities in several different countries.

Intermodal Shipping Container Converted into a German Police Box

Back in 2011, police chiefs in the Nordstadt district of Hanover, Germany, were looking for a less obtrusive, more spacious and comfortable solution to stationing guards outside the Turkish embassy than the old Volkswagen police van they had been using up till then. A further stipulation was that the compact police precinct needed to be easily transportable. Because all steel shipping containers are designed to be intermodal (meaning they can be easily transported and transferred between ships, trains and trucks). Architects decided that using a Conex box transformed into a police box would fit the bill.

Conex Boxes

Up-scaling Conex Boxes

Dumping an ugly, Corten steel shipping container outside the Turkish embassy was unlikely to impress its residents, so the architects went about designing an aesthetically-pleasing unit that remained functional, while offering good visibility. They opted to soften the industrial lines by cutting out large sections of steel and installing smart, laminated panels that give the appearance of wood. Next, they fitted floor-to-ceiling windows, so that police officers had an unobstructed view of the embassy they were guarding. Essentially, they successfully created a new building based on the shipping container’s rugged, steel superstructure.

Police box built from shipping container

Converted Shipping Containers Used by Other Worldwide Police Forces

Architects and engineers in other countries have also spotted a gap in the market and started to offer shipping container conversion services for both temporary and permanent police facilities. With many forces facing drastic budget cuts, projects based on Conex boxes are seen as a great way to provide increased accommodation at relatively low cost.

Shipping-container police station interiorSouth African company, Structure Now, has responded to demand by designing a flexible range of modern spaces that can be adapted to a variety of police uses. They have already been used with great success as control rooms, crime scene investigation posts and remote stations in rural areas. Conex boxes transformed into police boxes are clearly the future!

The structures currently come in 6m or 12m lengths and some even have internal bathrooms. The company provides lots of optional extras, including hygienic vinyl flooring, full electrical systems with integrated fuse-boards, plus thermal insulation and air conditioning units to cope with extremes of temperature. Shipping containers are tough to break into but enhanced security systems can be specified by clients, including heavy-duty locks, audible alarms and CCTV systems.  These are especially useful if the facilities aren’t manned 24/7.

Shipping Container Portability is Key

For police forces, the ability to transport an emergency control centre or investigation room to a crime scene at short notice is often vital. Intermodal shipping containers don’t need to be positioned on concrete bases and can simply be levelled up on rough ground, provided the area is relatively flat.

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