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22 Modern Shipping Container Homes Around the World | HomeDSGN

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22 Modern Shipping Container Homes Around the World | HomeDSGN.

22 Modern Shipping Container Homes Around the World

BY  • APR 14, 2014 •  SELECTED WORK 

A shipping container by itself is pretty boring, but even a brand new one is pretty cheap.

With a little bit of imagination (and a lot work), some talended architects succeeded to design dwellings made of shipping containers, ranging from off-the-grid guest homes to full time single family homes.

Shipping Container homes have their pros and cons: they are durable and eco-friendly, most of time cheaper to build than conventional constructions, and pre-fab modules can be easily transported by truck.

But they also have to be very well insulated and sealed as the steel conducts heat a lot and easily rusts if the air condenses against it.

You may think that living in a container home doesn’t sound very appealing.

Here are 22 of the best modern shipping container houses built around the world that may lead you to reconsider.

1. Containers of Hope, a $40,000 Home by Benjamin Garcia Saxe

Containers of Hope, a $40,000 Home by Benjamin Garcia Saxe

Benjamin Garcia Saxe completed the Containers of Hope project in 2011 with a budget of $40,000.

Located in San Jose, Costa Rica, this container house made of two 40 foot shipping containers is the result of a close collaboration between the architect and his clients, who went on to construct the building themselves.

2. Shipping Container House by Studio H:T

Shipping Container House by Studio H:T

Colorado-based Studio H:T designed this Shipping Container House in 2010. It is made of two 40 foot Shipping Containers.

The project is planned to be off-the-grid using solar orientation, passive cooling, green roofs, pellet stove heating and photovoltaics to create electricity.

3. The Beach Box by Andrew Anderson

The Beach Box by Andrew Anderson

The Beach Box is a shipping container house located in the dunes of Amagansett, New York, USA.

This 2,000 square foot, four bedroom, two and a half bath home was developed by Andrew Anderson with six-modules from New York-based company SG Blocks.

4. 31 Shipping Container Home by ZieglerBuild

31 Shipping Container Home by ZieglerBuild

Todd Miller of Zeigler Build recently built this amazing three story container house, using thirty one brand new 40 foot shipping containers!

This spectacular four bedroom, four bathroom, 6,000 square foot home is located 5 miles away from the heart of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

5. Caterpillar House by Sebastián Irarrázaval

Caterpillar House by Sebastián Irarrázaval

Caterpillar House is located in Lo Barnechea, Santiago de Chile, Chile, and was designed by Sebastián Irarrázaval.

The home overlooks a dry landscape, and was designed for an art collector, using twelve 20 foot and 40 foot shipping containers.

6. First Shipping Container House in Mojave Desert by Ecotech Design

First Shipping Container House in Mojave Desert by Ecotech Design

Ecotech Design completed the first Shipping Container Home in the Mojave Desert in 2011.

Made with six shipping containers, the 2,300 square foot contemporary house was built for about $200 per square foot, including the foundation.

7. Eco-Friendly Crossbox House by CG Architectes

Eco-Friendly Crossbox House by CG Architectes

This project is a prototype of a three-dimensional modular and industrialized house, built with four 40 foot shipping containers.

The aim of this project is to build a low cost architect’s housing with high focus on environmental issues.

8. “Home Contained”, a Cozy Modern Home Made of Five Shipping Containers

"Home Contained", a Cozy Modern Home Made of Five Shipping Containers (1)

Debbie Glassberg is the owner of the Home Contained, a 2,600 square foot modern residence located in Kansas City, Missouri, that was built with five shipping containers.

The final result is quite impressive: the home has comfortable living spaces, a green roof, geothermal heating, plant foam insulation and some passive solar.

9. Six Oaks Residence by Modulus

Six Oaks Residence by Modulus

Located in the hills of Felton, Santa Cruz, California, USA, this 1,200 square foot shipping container home was designed byModulus Architecture.

The house was made with three and a half 40 foot partially prefabricated shipping containers.

10. Containerlove by LHVH Architekten

Containerlove by LHVH Architekten

Designed by LHVH Architekten, Containerlove is a private residence made of three 40 foot shipping containers.

Located in Kall, Eifel, Germany, the structure sets it apart from its rural landscape, though its interior is warm and cozy.

11. Container House by Adam Kalkin

12 Container House by Adam Kalkin

The 12 Container House was designed by architect Adam Kalkin in 2003.

Located in Blue Hill, a small town in Maine, USA, the house was created by stacking twelve recycled 40 foot shipping containers in a T-shape.

12. Old Lady House by Adam Kalkin

Old Lady House by Adam Kalkin

The Old Lady House is another modern shipping container house designed by Adam Kalkin.

The two story home located in Califon, New Jersey, USA, was built using nine 40 foot recycled shipping containers.

13. Maison Container by Patrick Partouche

Maison Container by Patrick Partouche

French architect Patrick Partouche designed the Maison Container in 2010.

Located in the outskirts of Lille, France, this 2,240 square foot, two story house is made of eight 40 foot shipping containers.

14. Croydon Lane Residence by Studio Jantzen

Croydon Lane Residence by Studio Jantzen

Architect Christof Jantzen, principal of Studio Jantzen purchased five shipping containers and extended an existing rustic 750-square-foot cabin on a 3.5-acre plot of land in Topanga, California, USA.

With builder Eric Engheben of 44 West Construction, Jantzen managed to complete the addition within four weeks.

15. The Sarah House in Salt Lake City

The Sarah House in Salt Lake City

Real estate broker Jeff White dreamed of transforming used shipping containers into affordable housing.

After two years of work, he built a 672-square-foot house, using two 40 foot shipping containers.

The house located in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, was put on the market in October 2013 with an initial price tag of $135,000, but didn’t sell at the time of writing.

16. Shipping Container House in El Tiemblo by James & Mau Arquitectura

Shipping Container House in El Tiemblo by James & Mau Arquitectura and Infiniski

Designed by studio James & Mau Arquitectura, Casa El Tiamblo is made of four 40 foot shipping containers.

This 2,045 square-foot residence is located in Spain and was completed within six months for a total budget of 140,000 €.

17. WFH House by Arcgency

WFH House by Arcgency

Designed by Arcgency, this four bedroom contemporary home was made of three 40 foot shipping containers.

Located in China and completed in 2012, it is a prefab design based on principles such as sustainability, flexibility, and playfulness.

18. Upcycle House by Lendager Arkitekter

Upcycle House by Lendager Arkitekter

Danish studio Lendager Arkitekter completed the Upcycle House project in 2013.

It was built from two 40 foot used shipping containers and it is located in Nyborg, Denmark.

19. Shipping Container Guest House by Jim Poteet

Shipping Container Guest House by Jim Poteet

Located in Texas, USA, this project is made from a standard 40 foot shipping container, stands in the backyard of renovated warehouse where the client lives.

It was designed by the architect Jim Poteet who had never worked with a container himself until the owner approached him about transforming one into a playhouse and a guest house.

20. Two-Tree House by Golany Architects

Two-Tree House by Golany Architects

Designed by Golany Architects and located in Israel, the Two-Treehouse, which now appears to have grown there, actually began as a recycled shipping container.

It was constructed by applying prefabrication wherever possible, with all the interior finishes, insulation and structure completed off-site.

21. Nomad Living by Studio Arte architecture & design

Nomad Living by Studio Arte architecture & design

This weekend retreat by Studio Arte architecture & design is made of a single 40 foot shipping container.

It can also serves as a first home for a young couple, a shed for your guest or a home office/studio.

22. Week End House 2+ by Jure Kotnik Arhitekt

Week End House 2+ by Jure Kotnik Arhitekt

Instead of using recycled shipping containers for this weekend retreat, Jure Kotnik uses containers specially designed for housing.

This small modern container home is located in Trebnie, Solvenia.

Did you change your mind? Would you live in one of those container houses?

If so, let us know which one is your favorite.

Click any photo to see a larger image – Use buttons or j/k/arrow keys to navigate through the articles

24 Comments to 22 Modern Shipping Container Homes Around the World

  1. Sridhar

    Are these built to last? Some home these!

    • Julius M.

      Everything can be maintained. You can easily say this can last 50+ years with the right maintenance it can go more than that. The only thing that will inevitably break it is “RUST”. If you can prevent rust then it should be fine and dandy.

  2. Taneya

    I LOVE THEM! And I want one. What’s the price range?

  3. Julius M.

    Very interested, planning to start making one in the Philippines and introduce the idea then go from there.

  4. Jere Hiltunen

    I would want to see one that U can collapse back in transportable containers and move where ever U want to…

  5. Laurie H.

    Re-purposed shipping containers are a grand alternative to a modern housing! They are very cheap, I have read the price range starts at $1,500 for one medium-sized container. Hence, even if you wish to combine more containers together to extend the living space, your expenses would not exceed any limited budget. In addition to that, since they were built to sustain all the various conditions while on roads, salty water included, they should be very durable. With a little bit of care probably more than 16-17 years. The only thing I could not find an answer to is, do they balance the outside temperature enough? With thin walls made of metal I can perhaps see a problem there. I guess that is why some of the pictures shown above opted for wood or thicker walls instead of metal. By the way, Shipping Container Homes nicely sums up all the advantages of a shipping container homes, worth to have a quick look.

    • Chris Moore

      I have done a lot of reading on this and every reputable source I have found is using some type of insulation either on the inside or on the outside, depending on the way they want the finish to look. The most common solution is sprayed on foam insulation.

  6. Sanne

    My fiancée and very keen on this type of house as we are currently in the market. These homes are gorgeous and very affordable.

  7. Sanne

    Does anyone know How to get in touch with the architects who do this kind of work?

    • Richard Johnson

      Yes Sanne, we do Design Build for such container housing projects. We are doing a few right now, and hope to be doing a few hundred more in the future. I’m the Architect on this project and I would be more than happy to hear from you as I could send you some sketches which we are currently going to build. Yours, truly Richard Johnson , M.Arch.

      • Terri W

        I’m interested in building a container home. I love them but don’t know where to begin . could you point me in the right direction. I live in AL. I’m looking for a open floor plan with 4-5 bedroom, 2.5-3 bathroom, office, kitchen, laundry room, etc

  8. Harlan nance

    I am looking to build a container in central Texas. I have a rough sketch of the floor plan but need to find some one that can help me further my design. Can you help me out?
    Thanks

  9. Nigel

    I have been interested in these homes for many years now. It is good to see that so many people are moving the momentum forward. I am interested to know. Is the foundation any different from the traditional? Also was curious to know how are the containers secured to the foundation.

    • Chris Moore

      Foundation required is going to be dependent on your local building code. The container only needs to be supported at the corners. That is how it is designed to be used for transport and can be stacked 7 units high on ship with each unit supporting 50 thousand pounds. The corner supports could be concrete piers with a plate affixed in the concrete that the container is welded to, if your code permits this. The prime difficulty in using these containers for building is when your have local code restrictions that require certain techniques be used that do not fit into the concept of a container.

  10. Joey Salto

    Hello their I am looking into purchasing a container home was thinking about two 40ft containers to being with and a budget of about 40-55k. The location would be a little rural (solar energy wanted) in the city of Pinon Hills, Ca. Is it Possible?

    • Chris Moore

      The budget you suggest for the containers and modifications to them sounds reasonable, but I don’t expect you to be able to also buy a parcel of land within that budget. California is a very high priced zone.

  11. Henry

    Has anyone thought about putting multiple windows in a shipping container home that are narrow say 6″ wide but are tall and measure from just above the floor to just below the ceiling? I was thinking about a shipping container home in the wilds of remote Alaska where winters are long and one gets cabin fever unless one has wide views of the outside world but for safety intruding Alaskan bears and wolves would not fit through the windows. Some shipping container homes have large round windows but I don’t think those are pleasant looking. Also, why hasn’t anyone painted a shipping container to look like a home, say light brown, and paint shutters, say a burgundy color, on each side of a window, so as to mimmick the look of a conventional home?

    • Chris Moore

      I have seen examples of containers sheathed to look like a normal house, but most people that build using the container are trying to get that industrial look and it would be self defeating of their purpose to do what you are suggesting. You can do it though. The only real concern when making holes in the walls for windows is to ensure that you don’t compromise the structure, but f you are making a single story, it should not be an issue. If you are stacking containers, you may need to add some steel reinforcements.

  12. Laura

    I love these! I would love to have a yoga studio in one!

  13. jaskalel

    Does anyone know if this type of home is even permitted in miami? Or how I can find out. I absolutely love this idea!

  14. Unclefish

    I live on Vancouver Island in British Columbia Canada. The area I live in is surrounded by beautiful mountains and ocean. I think a container home would be a perfect choice here as they are earthquake proof and have many options for exterior designs, from ultra modern to rustic simplicicity. I am looking into designing and building a custom home for myself and family. The arcitectual possibilities are endless and the cost savings seem to just make sense.

  15. Fredrick

    Hi I have been looking at all the container homes on the net and I love them. I live in Las Vegas Nv and I am hoping that you can point me in the right direction to even get started to get one build. If possible I will be going through the VA. So do you know of anyone in Las Vegas that does this type of work.

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