Let’s take a detailed look at shipping containers. First of all they are painful. They’re built from weathering steel, these building blocks of international trade are designed to withstand stacking, stuffing and strapping and are reused over and over. There are roughly 17 million of these containers floating, riding and flying around the world today, but the recent sustainable design trend has found these containers re-purposed to carry a more fragile cargo — humans.
8 feet tall, 8 feet wide and 20 or 40 feet long, the containers don’t contain much space, but architects and building designers on the next page don’t exactly build within the box, so hit the jump and size up 10 great shipping container homes.
1. The Four Room House:
Belgian architects Pieter Peelings and Silvia Mertens have created a compact home for streamlined living. Each of the four small rooms serves a specific function. From the bottom up, a spiral staircase links a work floor, kitchen/dining floor, the living room floor and on the uppermost floor, a bedroom and bathroom space.
2. The Ecopod:
The Ecopod is a small and energy-efficient way for a homeowner to get off the grid. The container home is easily transported and secure enough to leave in remote locations for extended lengths of time. Each Ecopod is powered by an 80-watt solar panel, floored with rubber made from recycled tires and insulated with a soy-based product. See more here.
3. The Espace Mobile:
The affordable and modular Espace Mobile home is designed to be customized, a process the designer likened to adding options to a new car purchase. The homes are made to retain heat and conserve energy and can be tweaked to include a balcony or all manner of roof and interior configurations. See more here.
4. The Redondo Beach Container House:
Built around California’s notoriously stringent construction codes, De Maria Design’s Redondo Beach Container House is sleek and contemporary, barely hinting at the recycled and sustainable nature of the house. The American Institute of Architects gave the home design a 2007 award for innovative design, which incorporates the used shipping containers, which are integrated with traditional home building techniques. See more here.
5. The BARK’s All Terrain Cabin:
Big enough for a family of four and a pet, BARK’s All Terrain Cabin was designed so its owners could live off the grid, but not without comfort. The home can be transported by train, truck, plane or helicopter and when folded up, resembles a typical shipping container. Once installed, it expands into a 480 square-foot living space. See more here.
p.s. What shipping container home do you like?