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.
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.
Its no accident that countries like Japan and China are already living in small scale homes the fact is the big cities land prices have grown rapidly while many salaries remained stagnant. The fact is we are looking at a world population that is globally growing at an extremely rapid rate which is putting stress and demands on everything around the planet.
Shipping container homes as a box may seem an unworkable living space to many right now but after living in the Philippines I see many people who would be more than happy to live inside a shipping container compared to what they have and this is one of the things we are slowly losing “choice”. Fact is prices are still well above what a sustainable market can afford for housing in the West and its not always about being crammed in like sardines its also about the fact cost of living has increased dramatically in the U.S. while its seeing its unemployment rising rapidly as well. Even with land mass your still talking a lot of money for a small parcel of land meaning that shipping container homes could be the future of the wise investor well aware that many people still want the myth of the “American dream” while them themselves decide to go minimalistic renting out their home or using investment capital to gain income themselves instead of buying a larger home that rapidly becomes a money pit and a drain on finances.
You do have to wonder why so many places have strict building codes against such developments but then again its pretty obvious why you introduce so many requirements for everything these days right down to international procedures and even having a process in place gets a gold star once audited. Its all about giving away control to the bigger players in the game who can afford to waste money on all this wasteful legislation a typical example is the new light bulbs that come with a fitment that isn’t standard and extremely expensive in comparison to standard light bulbs. Does it save energy? maybe but when you can buy a cheap bulb for less than £1 in the UK and these bulbs are costing nearly £20 as well as needing specialist disposal where is the environment benefiting as well as our cash flow being wasted? Its all about taking opportunity away and introducing the corporate single way of life riddling us with debt and a fake belief in that its normal to always be owing money to others when in the past debt was seen as a bad thing. I remember looking back at the 50s and 60s in the UK credit was difficult to come by and often people only used it as a last resort often by pawn shops. It was a shameful thing to be in debt while today the reverse has happened.
Its for this reason as well as many others I can see shipping container homes being the way forward as the way to beat the banks and debt are to find ways to make container living more conventional and acceptable. Small box living is a cheap and cost affective way of reversing fortune from debt to being in credit by being able to slam university debt or other costs previously incurred as the square footage of a small home is a tiny footprint that is also stackable to maximise square footage in the smallest of floor areas. Giving the rise to multiple homes in the same land slot.
The dispute over shipping containers being too small to live in comes up regularly but I think its more a case of what people have become used to. TV always shows the big homes as normal in every show as nobody seems to live in apartments anymore just 4 – 5 bedroom houses on their own. I sit and look at things and wonder why? because I can see big spaces that just need heating,cooling,cleaning but more importantly it seems many people are living in a museum due to the scale of the homes.
Nothing wrong with a family home just that there should be a family in it, shipping container homes due to modular states can be up scaled as needed meaning the studio flat 2 x 20ft containers is ideal for a student while the 6 x 40ft is ideal for the family of 4. Thing is if you bought the land as a student and lived in the smaller unit you could probably incorporate the small 2 x 20ft unit into the rest of the home as you expanded.
The reason I find shipping container homes real ones is that sense is they are built for peoples needs rather than consumerism telling us what we need.
A shipping container home is designed around us with its modular form allowing us to create a space that reflects us in every part of it. Giving a unique environment we can call home.
Not my first choice of colours and design for the exterior paintwork but the Conhousewas introduced to deal with high housing prices and a declining affordable living space in Trebnje, Slovenia. The worst affected and no doubt why the designs and colour schemes were directed in the way they are is towards the younger more upwardly mobile generations who are likely to be struggling to get onto the housing market.
The design is based on two containers placed on top of each other with the upper unit overhanging the entrance giving shade and a pathway area while the other side creates a patio or rear terrace. With the way the containers are positioned it also allows a small roof deck type balcony to be available on the upper floor via sliding glass doors.
The staircase has been designed in a minimalistic way which suits the design and age group of the buyers the home is aimed at. With the added floor to ceiling windows although small and compact I can see the appeal of this style of home.
A bach is a name or term giving to a small building often holiday homes or beach houses in New Zealand.
Cecile Bonnifait and William Giesen of atelier workshop have built this one and the lowering of the one side that seems to be very common in single unit containers has been used to open up the container for more space and light. To maximise the space even the opening doors double as a bed space. It can boast enough living space for 4 people which is a bit of an achievement in such a tight space at the same time its a holiday home so the point is to spend more time outdoors. As you can see from the layout though a lot of time went into the design and I am more than impressed in the use of the limited space they have including the Murphy bed that gives a double usage for the central floor area.
On top of that the unit is designed to be mobile and I believe comes with its concrete blocks for its foundation. Only concern with that though is people buying or wanting one of these if they buy them is making sure they have level ground as for several years myself when furniture making you would get people order furniture who suddenly realised after it arrived it didn’t fit in the house even though they had been asked several times to measure doorways and stairs before they ordered anything. With a container home its a bit more complex as the delivery driver wants to go and won’t hang around when people start to get shovels out because they haven’t checked the ground. At the same time that responsibility doesn’t fall on the designers and builders of this home but a cautionary note if anyone buys one.
Container Home Design by Lawrence Group creating Harbinger SG Blocks shipping container home a beautiful small practical designed home which also gets taken to shows which shows its ability to be modular when needed but a beautiful home or office when not. The roof deck area gives a feeling of space as well as opening up to having a outdoor living space, depending on location and climate if your like me in the Philippines that would no doubt become the living room as rainfall for most of the year pretty much is none existant allowing for a roof decked large outside space that you can enjoy the views while going about your daily business.
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 home has gone a bit overboard on the luxury design of a shipping container home on the fittings but has some interesting character and design. Its functionality and usage is all there but giving with the hot tub and a few other things may not be so obvious. Love the red kitchen layout but does seem to have too many seating areas with an external seating, small sitting room area with more chairs then next to that a dining table and chairs. I am sure there could be better use of the space. All in all though the design is nice,functional and built!