Adaptive Reuse :: Shipping Container Homes

via ecofriend

I've always been fascinated by the idea of adaptive reuse -- the process of reusing an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for -- why tear a structure down (especially if there is architectural significance attached) when you can re-purpose it? The Musée d'Orsay, which is housed in a former train station, sparked my interest in the practice {see my post on the museum here.}  A new form of adaptive reuse is using shipping containers as architectural building blocks which are fast, green, and a sustainable approach to building. 

Containers can cost between $1,000 and $2,000.  Standard containers are 8’-0” wide, 8’-6” high (yielding an interior height of 7’-10”) and come in 10, 20 and 40ft lengths.  There are also “super cubes,” used for shipping cars, that are 8’-6” wide, 9’-6” high (interior height of 8’-10”), and 45’-0” or 53’-0” long.  Shipping containers are cheap, mobile, and highly recyclable. They are also more structurally sound than traditional wood-frame structures and are mold-proof, fire-proof and termite-proof.

Multiple containers can be combined to create larger, multi-story living spaces.  Single containers can also be used as satellite structures like guest houses or home offices.  Some architects prefer to leave the corrugated metal walls and ceilings visible as they are a defining characteristic of the design, while others prefer to cover the corrugated texture with traditional building materials.

architect :: ecotech

This home designed by ecotech is known as the Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain and is located near Joshua Tree in the Mojave desert.  It is 2,300 square feet and has 1 bedroom and 1.5 baths.  It cost about $200 p/sq ft to build (including the foundation.)  The home was designed as a hybrid house and the concept "combines diverse pre-engineered building and energy conservation features to maximize efficiency and cost savings, while offering architectural design flexibility and variation". The home is now available for sale as a kit -- if you want even more information on the home, click here.

architect :: ecotech

architect :: ecotech

architect :: ecotech

architect :: ecotech

architect :: ecotech

architecht :: ecotech

architect :: adam kalkin

Adam Kalkin's Bunny Lane home is a "sheath" made of shipping containers that surround a traditional wooden home.  The interiors were done by the famed interior designer Albert Hadley.

architect :: adam kalkin

architect :: Andrew Anderson

The Beach Box in the Hamptons was designed by Andrew Anderson and is built of six shipping container.  The home is 2,000 sq ft with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

architect :: andrew anderson

architect :: andrew anderson

architect :: benjamin garcia saxe

The above home is in San Jose, Costa Rica and was designed by Benjamin Garcia Saxe and cost only $40,000.  

architect :: benjamin garcia saxe

architect :: benjamin garcia saxe

architect :: benjamin garcia saxe

architect :: benjamin garcia saxe

architect :: benjamin garcia saxe

architect :: benjamin garcia saxe

architect :: deMaria Design

The Redondo Beach House by deMaria Design is made with 8 recycled shipping containers.  It's 3,000 sq ft with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.  It even has a lap pool that is also made of a recycled shipping container!

architect :: demaria design

architect :: demaria design

architect :: Travis Rice Architects

Using shipping containers as architectural building blocks isn't limited to single-family homes.  The Brookland Apartments in Washington DC are a great example.  The building has three levels plus a garden-level.  Each level is a single apartment and is constructed of six containers and have 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms.

architect :: travis rice architects

architect :: travis rice architects

architects :: travis rice architects


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