Converted cargo containers become a portable gallery

What do you do when you need a large temporary building that can be moved to another location within just a few days?

This was the challenge faced by Norwegian architect firm MMW.

They were asked to build a temporary art gallery that could easily be disassembled – and relocated if needed.

That’s how the GAD gallery, made from converted shipping containers, was born.

GAD pop-up shipping container building

© > photo: Eirik Førde

Placed in Oslo, Norway – the gallery was built using 10 shipping containers which form 3 stories and a rooftop area.

The gallery is made from:

  • 5 x 20 ft containers placed on the ground floor.
  • 5 x 40 ft containers – 3 form a U-shape around the central courtyard, whilst the remaining 2 boxes makes up the final level, an exhibition space with access to the rooftop area.

All of the containers were insulated, covered with sheets of plywood and painted white.

Shipping container conversion plans GAD gallery


The white colour helped to brighten the space, and is a perfect background for showcasing pieces of art.

In order to use as little artificial light as possible large windows were installed, which reach from floor to ceiling, at the end of each container.

There’s also smaller circular windows that have been placed opposite each other, allowing even more light to flow through the space.

Pop-up containers

© > photo: Eirik Førde

As well as being a great place for exhibitions the GAD gallery is an ideal venue for outdoor events too.


© > photo: Eirik Førde

By using converted shipping containers MMW were able to create an an eye catching temporary structure, a structure which some might consider a form of art itself.

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Editors note: Thanks to MMW for their permission to use the images in this article. Adaptainer were not involved in the design or build of the GAD project.