Location: Nederland, Colorado
Design: Studio H:T
Although not comprised entirely of shipping containers — the lavish home only utilizes two — Studio H:T’s latest venture in the realm of shipping container homes was nothing short of gorgeous. The firm built the sustainable home on an existing rock outcropping in the Colorado wilderness, allowing the occupants to capitalize on the distant ridge views surrounding them. The containers straddle the home’s central living space, functioning as bedrooms and a kitchen, as well as a bath, office, and laundry room. The upper floor even features a bed that slides on tracks for an outdoor experience without the tent.
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Design: Benjamin Garcia Saxe
This inexpensive home was created by architect Benjamin Garcia Saxe for only $40,000. It’s made with two 40-foot shipping containers. Saxe created this for a couple with the intent of building a rural home that wouldn’t put them in debt. The slanted roof lets the sunlight in but also lets the hot air escape. It is located 20 minutes outside the capital of Costa Rica, but you can’t tell from the pictures that it is anywhere near a city of roughly two million people.
Location: Pont-Péan, France
Design: CG Architectes
This house has three bedrooms, a kitchen, a large living room, and two bathrooms. The house was built using two merged crates on each floor. We don’t know how much this project cost, but we do know that the architects built it with the intention of displaying a low-cost alternative to most standard homes in the area. It is clear that design was important, considering the way the house was built as if to defy gravity.
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Design: Jim Poteet
A mere 320 feet of space is not much to work with unless you’re creating a minimalist guest house in your backyard. The private residence, constructed with the help of local Texas architect Jim Poteet, adds a touch of luxury to a recycled shipping container measuring a narrow 8 feet wide and 40 feet long. The foundation of the structure utilizes a bevy of recycled telephone poles, while the flooring and wall coverings feature repurposed bamboo. The roof of the navy-blue crate even offers garden space — making it more than just a place for storing tools and housing people passing through.
Location: Santiago, Chile
Design: Sebastián Irarrázaval
This shipping container home is located just outside of a large city as well, on a hillside outside of Santiago, Chile. It is built from 12 containers. The design was chosen by the family for its quick build time on a reasonable budget. The facade is ventilated and arranged in a way that makes electronic cooling unnecessary, using the natural, cool mountain air as a passive cooling system.
Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
Design: Ecosa Design Studio
Adorned with a rooftop terrace and with a construction time just under a year, Ecosa Design Studio’s desert home is one of the few residences on our list representing a student-designer collaboration. The mint-green dwelling sports an industrial design, with concrete floors and a walnut finish, along with tools for collecting solar power and harvesting rainwater. A slew of dual-pane aluminum windows provide ample natural light throughout the year, but it’s the home’s five separate decks that give it astonishing views of the surrounding San Francisco Peaks.
Location: Sardinia, Italy
Located on the island of Sardinia, Summer Residence was set up as an office and living space by designers at Designboom, who used three interconnected shipping containers and did most of the work themselves. The setup contains an outdoor kitchen and dining area covered with a straw canopy and two live/work container spaces. Each space has sliding glass doors, and one of the containers is outfitted with a bathroom, including a toilet and shower. The designers also included two outdoor courtyards and a satellite connection.
Location: Ávila, Spain
Design: James & Mau
It may not look quite as ornate from the outside as some of the others, but a look inside this house will still impress. This project was built with four 40-foot containers for about $190,000. It includes a kitchen, bedrooms, a living room, and large picturesque windows. Even the landscaping is top-notch.
Location: Victoria, Canada
Design: Keith Dewey
Canadian architect Keith Dewey took a cue from a magazine when designing the Zigloo Domestique Complete complex, one of the first shipping container homes in the entire country. He retrofitted eight 20-foot cargo units with a proper roof, outfitting the interior of the home soon afterward with a slew of sustainable materials intended to go hand-in-hand with the passive ventilation and the house’s modern design. He supposedly saved 70 trees by using the recycled materials, only to sell the house for a cool $728,000 a mere six years after completion.
Location: San José, California
Design: David Fenster
Nestled amid the trees of the San José mountains and atop an old railway that now serves as an emergency escape route, David Fenster’s project on behalf of Modulus was intended to waste as little space as possible and leave minimal impact on the environment. The private residence makes use of six shipping containers spaced four feet apart from one another, with the second story crates stacked perpendicular to the bottom. Recycled redwood from the site makes up the stairwell and much of the furniture, while recycled plywood that was sealed and stained supplied much of the foundation for the flooring.