Shipping container holiday home – Port-a-Bach – New Zealand

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.



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Murphy bed (folding bed from wall) ideal for use in a shipping container home

In any home the one thing that takes up the most space without actually being functional most of the time in daylight hours has to be the bed which in a shipping container an area taken up by an area 4ft wide by 6ft long is a lot of space to waste just to lie down. At the same time sofa beds often don’t offer the same level of comfort of a normal bed so a compromise has to be made which is where the Murphy bed or folding bed comes in as it allows the unit to be put away when not in use.

Downside was when I seen how much people are charging for these units which is why I did a bit of research on getting the mechanism as well as plans on how to build a Murphy bed which is what I am sharing below as no doubt I know others will be interested for the same reason as me.


how to make a home from shipping containers – 2 x 20ft – concept & design by Keith Dewey & Craig Arnatt

how to make a home from shipping containers - 2x20ft - concept and design by Keith Dewey and Craig Arnatt

This is the 02 Design which i thought would be worth posting for people to get an idea of how you can make a simple home with 2 x 20ft containers. As you can see its functional but also there is a lot of wasted space that could be utilized but it still fits!

For an example of how to work things out generally I would go for the number of people living in the house plus one when it comes to seating. As there is only a double bed in this house and living room seating for 6 you can half that space. Dining table could be set for 2 with a fold down table so that more seating could be added if needed rather than taking up 1/4 of the home. Sofa bed or Murphy bed would be more practical than a double bed that looks like its stuck in the middle of the sitting room. Not an ideal plan for me this one but at the same time like I said its all in there and with excess. If creating open plan in the sitting room/bedroom I would go with a divider after reducing the amount of seating as this will allow wardrobe space in the bedroom and a TV unit in the sitting room as well as small storage.

But the important thing is here is you can see how it can be done at the same time having a canvass to work from you can also plan out how you would do it.