A Shipping Container Gallery based in Oslo by MMW for Alexandra Dyvi not only is a cheap method of construction but also extremely environmental when using recycled materials especially if the containers themselves in this case are near their final destination. But also the containers themselves are in keeping with a dockside look.
Due to the lack of light in shipping containers because of no windows the addition of circular windows opposite each other allows strong northern light to pass through, as well as rectangular end windows bringing plenty of light. The original site was one of ship building which is another in keeping factor of the shipping container structure. Especially when you introduce walkways and steel ship type steps.
The structure itself is made up of 10 shipping containers which were then insulated on the interior before covered in plywood and sheetrock.
Its an idea I have been thinking about for sometime, I find people’s first complaint about shipping container homes as a “concept” is that they are simply too small to be viable. I totally disagree as it all depends on peoples lifestyles but also its very likely they have lived in a smaller space themselves at some point already.
But what if you took the shipping container for an urban situation where land is often at a premium, or more importantly bits of land people can’t imagine being useful due to the size available then take a shipping container and go vertical instead of horizontal. This is still an idea at the moment but thought maybe some of the whizzes out there with a bit of time and 3D imagery could come up with some interesting designs.
I’m sure it can be viable especially in locations that do have a high cost of land and positioning in even what once was a flower bed would be very possible.
The main issue I can see though is the stair access between floors, but like everything else this can be overcome with a good idea pool of people.
40ft container divided into 4 rooms of 10ft high each or at 9ft you could add a 5th floor with 4ft height for storage space. Each room would be 7’8" x 7’10" not huge but a workable space.
Not sure if other countries suffer with the same but if you don’t want a shipping container they seem to be around P60,000 and as soon as you do they can be as high as P140,000.
Question is why are they so expensive?
In reality I believe its to do with a lack of safety standards and internal shipping. A lot of stuff moves around within the islands of the Philippines and neither conform to or need to conform to international standards. In the same way all the ferries that sank in the Philippines ended up with an investigation into why the ships sank but all comes down to a lack of safety and poor maintenance every time.
So how do you get a good price for a shipping container in the Philippines? I found the best way is to look and ask but never mention you want to buy one. Just keep an eye out for when someone is trying to sell one. Generally I let people know I am after one but have a limited budget and sooner or later someone will turn up at the door telling me there is one for sale.
Most things in the Philippines exist like this though if your buying the price is high if someone is selling they are normally desperate and you can get a bargain.
French architect patrick partouche has recently completed ‘maison container lille’, a single family residence created from eight shipping containers within the countryside of lille, france. the stacked units combine to generate 208 square meters of living space. The building itself has not shyed away from its container roots but look to enhance and utilise the idea. The container doors can be opened or closed to give privacy and shade when needed.
Although the design is an interesting one I do have concerns about its internal furnishings as it seems very industrial in its usage of materials. This can lead to the home feeling rather cold and empty at the same time it no doubt matches the requests of the owners which is something that leaves the architect limited on decisions.
The side by side layout however though is a good design and the use of light via the window areas gives the shipping container home a feeling of being bigger and brighter. The home was installed within 3 days which is a bit of an achievement.
One of the problems with building codes in regards to shipping container homes is that there are specific “minimum” room sizes for many things. But like everything there is always a way round it although hoping more and more local government and planning officers start to recognise the viability of shipping container homes.
The “all-season suite,” is a great example of a shipping container home ideal to literally move straight into. They aren’t exactly cheap at $32,500 fully furnished but often people overlook the savings of minimal living with the fact your only heating and cooling a small floor area of 37 square meters of property, which long term means lower running costs.
Mike Corvi from Portland Oregon purchased a used shipping container for $2,900. He utilised a local builder with a few friends to convert the shipping container into an outdoor retreat in his back garden within 6 weeks.
$8,000 later the shipping container was finished, but that isn’t where it stopped as Mike enjoyed doing it so much he’s looking at setting up a small business developing and selling them to other people.
Someone posted this link to me today regarding how someone downsized their life. The fact is in the last 50 years Americans (and no doubt many other nations) now occupy more than 3 times the amount of space they did before. Add to that the rising number of “drive in storage facilities” that are cropping up as a new industry its time to stop.
Now for me its something I realised years ago as although I had a nice Victorian house and garden in the winter I froze and in the summer the long garden was impossible to maintain.
But looking at it another way the ceilings were too high and I never used the sitting room, the kitchen was used for less than an hour a day and generally as a family of 3 at that time we could have lived in a space 3 times smaller and been financially better off. The electric bill would be cheaper, cost of rent and the amount of gas consumed in the winter time.
On a social front instead of my daughter sitting in her room unsocially it would mean the family have to function together in the same space creating a much more social environment. It would also mean having one good TV instead of 3 TV sets in different rooms.
But why stop there, I used to remember my ex buying clothes for specific parties that would never see the light of day again. Wouldn’t it make more sense to hire or buy something that would be timeless and expensive to wear to more events instead?
In today’s way of thinking I am permanently de-cluttering my life as every time I look at something I wonder if I really need it. When I go back to the UK shortly I will be arriving in the UK pretty much with just the clothes on my back as a suitcase in the UK is all my possessions I need there for work. Literally while working I can live in a small bedroom. I generally eat out due to the type of work I do so no kitchen is required, I wash my clothes daily so could use a launderette if the facilities weren’t at the place I rent etc.
It does away with the general cost of living in the UK which when I assess it cost me £1,500 a month previously with the Victorian house compared to £500 a month all inclusive for my new way of life financially I am saving at £1,000 a month. With the current economic climate its going to be much more of a saving.
So does container living make sense? I think its a case of accepting the fact we have to live smaller and shipping containers give fixed dimensions you can work with. It can also teach people to limit what they waste which in turn reduces personal debt. Question is can we live without container living, as simply it redefines life and moves away from consumerism to realistic financial living.
Initially it seems a bit of a gimmick but when you start looking at the work that has gone into the shipping container as well as some interesting ideas such as the wind up bed it does seem rather well thought out.Jeff Wardell and Claudia Sagan are a pair of travel-loving art collectors which meant they needed a bigger space to show off their collection of over 120 pieces of art they have collected.
This resulted in 2007 the purchase of a 3,200-square-foot and 127-foot-long open-air loft. Rather than splitting the loft into smaller room sections they decided to keep it as open plan as possible for the natural lighting. They pushed the master bedroom to the back, positioned the kitchen and living space in the center and situated a den at the street-facing front windows.
Now the one issue they did have was adding a guest bedroom without disturbing the layout of the loft and this resulted in the idea of the shipping containers. The blue one became the office while the orange made up the guest room. Being very artistic the container interiors are a bit querky and designed to be not only functional but also good to look at. Take a look for yourself in the photos below my favourite idea is the wind down bed.
SNAP Hydroponics is something that has been developed in the Philippines for sustainable living and livelihood. What makes it a little unique compared to most hydroponics setups is that it doesn’t need any electricity which is a huge difference in money cost for production. Obviously the Philippines climate is a country receiving 12 hours of sunshine as well as constant heat which helps. But the SNAP solution which is mixed with water is a cheap solution for plant production that is initially designed for leafy plants. Maybe this is the first step towards developing different solutions for different types of plant to get maximum growth while still being organic. But for me living out in the Philippines with these lightweight boxes how many would you fit on a shipping container home roof? The boxes themselves come from discarded fruit boxes normally carrying grapes which means your recycling a product that is normally scrapped. How to make a SNAP hydroponics setup from a fruit box can be found here.