Swimming pools made from shipping containers are so popular companies are springing up all over the country to make them and are having to turn customers away as demand outstrips the rate at which they can be made.
Containerama, based in Chasse-sur-Rhône near Lyon,has been buying up second hand containers for over twenty years and transforming them into storage space for industry, making offices, stands for trade fairs, garages, workshops and even tiny houses. Now they have turned to swimming pools and say containers are ideal as they are made out of tough, durable and rust resistant Corten steel and this gives them a second life.
Containerama started making them nearly three years ago, with containers used for one trip between Asia and France:
“We made twenty in the first year, fifty this year, and will have to expand if we want to respond to the huge demand.” says Marketing Director Sébastien Arnoux.
As well as being practical, he says their industrial design look appeals:
“There are endless possibilities. One client has asked for an 18 metre-long pool, made with two containers. Most of it will be sunken in the ground but one part will be suspended over the garden.”
Customers can personalise their pool – which come in two sizes, 6m and 12m long – choosing a coloured metal finish, or exotic wood covering. The liner is made with a reinforced membrane.
Windows can be cut into the sides, the stairs can be hidden or exterior, and the pool can be above ground or sunk into the garden. Prices start from €13,990. He says they are more expensive than a teak stand-alone pool, but will last longer, and are cheaper than a classic pool.
The pools are made in the company’s workshops and are delivered all over France and put into place, readymade, by crane. The technical equipment is incorporated into the unit, under the platform giving access to the pool.
Another company, Piscines Container Normandie, based at Aurseulles, Calvados, started making this new kind of pool in 2020. Its director, Cédric Boué had been working as a landscaper and traditional swimming pool maker for some years, and saw the potential of this new venture:
“The idea came from Australia, and I had wanted to have a go for some time. We sold ten the first summer, we are making twenty this year and we already have orders for 2022. Our basic model is half the price of other swimming pools at €8,000 and means people who would not have been able to afford a traditional one, can have one of these in their garden. There has been a growing demand for pools in Normandy with the hot summers and fewer opportunities to go on holiday.”
Kaseo, based at Le Havre transforms containers into food trucks or stands for events, but when business dried up due to Covid they started making swimming pools. Prices start at €14,000.
The company says a lot of work goes into making them and they are made to last:
“We line the rough interior of the container with aluminium, use a strong reinforced membrane instead of a weaker classic liner,” says Manon Renaux, responsible for marketing. “Customers can choose from a range of styles, materials and colours.”
In their first year they made about thirty, and say there is a huge potential for the future:
“We have had requests from all over France, Belgium and Switzerland. Since Covid the price of containers has doubled as their manufacture was reduced during confinement, but then demand exploded when transport picked up again. We are having difficulty getting them now, so we are looking into making our own containers for pools, as we are convinced they will continue to be popular. Customers like them because they are easy to install, taking less than a morning, and love their design which adds style to their gardens.”