Whether they’re making a luxury home or the world’s largest periscope, people are finding creative ways to use shipping containers. And while making them into houses is nothing new, an apartment building built out of the steel boxes is still relatively uncommon, though you can find them in both Huntsville, Texas and D.C. Now, Phoenix has its own as well, thanks to building firm StarkJames.
The building will open to tenants next week, and rents start at around $1,000 for the 740-square-foot apartments. Under construction since March, the apartments are made out of five-ton containers from the Port of Long Beach. “There wasn’t a playbook regarding shipping container housing, or precedent in other cities, but we knew it was important for Phoenix to help make this project a reality,” the firm said in a statement.
The one-bedroom units were brought up to code and provided with insulation, wiring, plumbing, windows, and drywall. “Containers aren’t expensive or difficult to work with in and of themselves,” architect Wesley James tells Dwell. “But it gets expensive and complicated bringing them up to code. It’s not yet an accepted building material.” The living room and bedroom are separated by a galley kitchen set in the middle of the container.
If you want to test out what living in a shipping container is like, one of the eight units has been furnished and fixed up, with help from local companies such as Tuft & Needle, as an Airbnb rental.