Ok not exactly a tent and it isn’t exactly camping but this is why they call it glamping a mix of luxury living with the essence of camping. The shipping container configuration though is one I like extremely as the L shape offers up a bit of privacy while being in an open space. Ideally suited to a weekend retreat rather than home living unless your prepared for a minimalist lifestyle but one of the best ways to maximise two 20ft shipping containers I have seen.
Alterra offers rooms in refurbished shipping containers in the woods of Pinamar, an upscale beach resort 350 kilometers south-east from Buenos Aires. Due to its nature and design its more inline with a hotel or hostel than any campsite you will come across but I suppose that’s the idea. The wealthy can afford to pay for a bit more at the same time still want to be in touch with nature and relax without being in a large scale hotel full of other people.
The design was done by local architect Clorindo Testa which is housed on a 32,000sqft lot which also includes an art gallery. The mix of traditional construction home and adjoining shipping containers at the main house is also an interesting blend as it does show how easily the shipping containers can become part of a home.
The containers are also recycled and use energy efficient lighting as well as appliances. No trees were removed either the containers were placed around them which is also another good thing. If your thinking glamping at Alterra is for you be aware that the starting price of a container is $250 per night.
Cutting out openings allowed large windows to be installed as well as putting the shipping container into a T formation. The fact that the insulation already existed in the container as well as the interior of the container being “food grade” meant that it didn’t need as much work as a basic container and those paranoid about toxic paints its unlikely to have any ill affects due to its previous type of use.
The architects may have had doubts about the viability of shipping containers for this use previously but as you can see in the video themselves they are more than happy with the result.
I keep hearing people saying how bad the idea is for shipping container homes due to cost of moving the units as well as the space but is it really?
In reality a shipping container home can be built modular and with a small skill base, no architect, no builders, no big expenses so why is it wrong?
When you have bugs who do you call? Get the yellow pages!
When you want chicken for dinner do you go to the farmer next door or the supermarket?
These are reasons why shipping container homes are shunned upon because it breaks the consumerism barrier where your told you have to do something instead of thinking about how can I do it.
A shipping container home gives not only opportunity and a home but freedom and although you make have a bit of a pitched battle going on to get it sited its worth it.
When I look at costs of construction and mortgages its very quick to see that you can save 1/3rd if not more on cost because you reducing labour as well as being able to do it in affordable stages.
I have an added advantage of fighting the corner of the shipping container home movement in that I do have an internet troll with nothing better to do than be negative. Odd thing about shipping container homes is I have yet to meet anyone who built one that said it was a bad or wrong idea. Why? because normally they are debt free because they did most of the work themselves.
Intermodal Design although putting emphasis on disaster relief for container homes as you can see here in their “stages” of construction it also makes sense for low budget housing. For me it also makes the difference between government handouts and people taking responsibility for themselves as evolving their home from what would be just a live in shipping container to an evolved home where you can’t tell its a container is what can change the perspective of many on how container living works.
Building villages in these types of units allows the whole community to develop together, it also bonds the community together as they are more likely to get involved in each others projects to complete the homes into their finished state. Which in reality is what any architect in housing development wants more than anything or should be social development and community building.
You will often come across negativity on building shipping container homes as people generally see a big metal box with a logo written up the side of it but at the same time these same people will never understand the concept of why you are doing it in the first place.
At the same though nobody says it has to be a simple box design although for many they choose this type because of environmental reasons or budget. Personally if even a box on the outside it doesn’t mean you can’t grow plants on a trellis to give a bit of shade as well as a practical wall cover. For me its not just about looking at a box but more the thought of children getting a Christmas present disregarding the present for the large box it came in to fill 101 dreams all day with the box the gift came in. Shipping containers offer that for the person who isn’t the architect or house builder a box to build from, a modular piece of a puzzle that they can envisage their ideas and turn from a simple or complex idea into a home that has their personal stamp on it. I’m an environmentalist, i’m a designer, I simply love living in my shipping container! whatever it is the point is that metal box became a home for generations and I haven’t heard anyone yet complain about living in one everyone seems more than happy and if that’s the case then I too will be happy to be “living in a box”.
I remember the mobile libraries in my childhood and to be honest in locations that struggle for access to libraries it makes a lot of sense. This converted shipping container was conceived to support local Dutch schools that either couldn’t afford or didn’t have space for their own libraries. The BiebBus can pull up and raise its upper deck creating a kid safe environment that is also interesting and entertaining to the kids. Big lights, see through flooring all make it somewhere kids want to go and learn.
The library although packed with books it also has 4 computer terminals as well. Modern technology replacing an old community service thanks to Architect Jord Den Hollander who came up with the idea of raising the container outer shell as a reading room above while the main library remained below.
The reading room offers up a floor with magnifying glass that make the kids look huge from below at the same time its beanbags and round windows give the kids somewhere to sit and read.
In Hong Kong space is always an issue, apartments are generally tiny and expensive an architect Gary Chang decided to maximise his living space of 344 sqm with a home that uses sliding walls and panels to give 24 different design layouts. I thought I should add this as I have yet to see anyone utilize such a design inside a shipping container home but can see its potential so take a look at Gary Chang’s “Domestic Transformer”.
This shipping container home in Chile was created by architect Ruben Rivera Peede named “Liray House”. Its base size had to be no more than 115m2 and very low cost in construction with a completion price of $75,000. It was constructed in less than 3 months on a lot of 6775m2 with the property being located in an eastern corner to give the best views of the Andes mountian.
5 containers were used to construct the home as well as it being raised 55cm off the ground. This not only allows passive air movement but also reduces risk of damp as well as allowing things like plumbing pipes to be installed easily as most work was carried out off site. 2 40ft containers make up the bedrooms while 3 other containers create the living spaces. The original container flooring was removed and replaced with hardwood. This is probably to do with toxins within the floor rather than anything else as it could have been boarded over.
On the insulation side Projected Cellulose was used which has an internal density of 45 to 60kg/m3. It helps reduce heat build up as well as heat loss depending on the time of year. It also removes hollow sounds from the building as well as being extremely fireproof. Another important factor is that Corten steel is used in the shipping containers as this is a rust proof and highly damp proof material. Always worth checking the “structure” of a shipping container and either go for Corten or Aluminium.
The environemental Centre in Long Beach, California went to the extreme when working with shipping containers in their design. The E-CORRE Complex is designed by APHIDoIDEA Architects and utilizes new technologies in renewable energy. They have built into the centre a solar passive design with vegetated roof space as well as recycling materials. The arch design has been structured to tilt for solar exposure for the roof gardens which also include a rainwater harvesting network which reduce the need for heavy watering.
It offers not only everything people in the area would like to know about sustainable building development but also its own green community and amphitheatre.