Location: Curacaví, Chile
Design: James & Mau Arquitectura
The exterior of most cargo containers isn’t exactly flattering. Fortunately, with the Manifesto House, James & Mau Arquitectura decided to incorporate a series of recycled wood pallets and shutters in order to help shade the structure in the summer and heat the metal walls in the winter. The open-space design utilizes three separate shipping containers, each placed in such a way as to allow ample room between the two outdoor patios lining the interior of the home. It also runs primarily on solar energy and features a cantilevered balcony on the top. “Eco-efficient” is one way to describe it.
Location: Long Island, New York
Design: Maziar Behrooz Architecture
This unit was built on a budget of $60,000 as an art studio next to someone’s house. The studio was painted charcoal to match their house and blend in with the environment. It has two floors: one for painting and one to relax, reflect and work on smaller projects. The lower floor is built into the hillside.
Location: Shadow Mountain (near Joshua Tree), California
A one-bedroom home that totals 2,300 square feet, the Hybrid House was built for a client in the media business who wanted a photo studio and large storage areas in a beautiful setting. EcoTech used five shipping containers and recycled steel to make it. It has a movable roof and a water-harvesting system that collects natural water because it’s in the desert. It actually surpasses California’s energy requirements by 50%. This is a large, eco-friendly, and nice-looking residence for the desert, which utilizes an open layout and solar-shaded windows to ward off the hot desert air. Shadow Mountain cost over $300,000 to build.
Location: Rosneath Peninsula, Scotland
Design: Urban Space Management
This space hosts artists from all over the world and overlooks Loch Long in Scotland. Cove Park provides residencies for visual artists, craftspeople, writers, and musicians, and is only part of a larger complex for the artists in residence. A layer of grass over the top of the containers helps insulate the residence, and sliding glass doors and porthole windows let in plenty of light.
Location: Blue Hill, Maine
Design: Adam Kalkin
Open-space architecture is seemingly becoming more and popular, but one rarely sees it in pre-fabricated homes. However, Adam Kalkin’s take on spatial living makes use of 12 shipping containers and a glazed glass structure to give the residence a direct connection to the great outdoors. Two steel staircases provide access to the upper bedrooms from the living space and kitchen below, providing welcome relief from any wind that may trickle in the house through the two garage-style doors.
Location: Amagansett, New York
Design: Andrew Anderson
Touted as the Hampton’s first eco-container home, designer Andrew Anderson took more into account than merely the location of his luxury home. Whereas the four modules on the ground floor make up the residence’s four bedrooms, the top containers house the kitchen, living, and dining rooms. The $1,395,000 home also sits amid the peaceful Napeague dunes a mere 600 feet from the ocean, while utilizing some of the most sustainable materials currently on the market. Counters made of 100%, post-consumer recycled fiber and bamboo never looked so good.
Location: Dallas, Texas
Design: Michael Gooden
This impressive home is made from 14 steel shipping containers. Located in northern Texas, the stunning structure is uniquely positioned to take in views from the surrounding townscape. The use of drastic overhangs and several porches shield windows from direct sunlight — without obstructing the view — while concrete floors, an exposed steel structure, masonry, and glass make up the primary building elements. The three-bedroom home also features four elevated, covered balconies and a large roof deck. It cost somewhere between $350,000 and $490,000 to build, making this impressive home more affordable than you might think.
Location: New Jersey
Design: Adam Kalkin
The Quik house is an airy, modern structure in a forested region of central New Jersey, retrofitted with concrete and fir floors, stainless steel beams, and large glass panes that line nearly all sides. The main building is comprised of six shipping containers, the other just three, but the entire complex houses a large living space, multiple bedrooms, a bathroom, a walk-in closet, and more. A 12-foot island provides a beautiful view when cooking, too, while the large sofas allow you to lounge near the fireplace on frigid nights. The entire interior is even hidden behind drywall, meaning you’ll never be able to tell the structure is made of shipping containers unless you look behind the stairwell.
Location: Savanah, Georgia
Design: Julio Garcia
The Price Street Project is a unique container home created by designer Julio Garcia to complement the lush greenery of Savannah, Georgia. The one-bedroom house was constructed from two offset, 40-foot shipping containers, and the space itself consists of a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living room. Clerestory windows soften the interior with ample natural lighting, and an open wooden deck wraps around the entire building, helping to better mesh the harsh steel structure with the surrounding forest.
Location: Orgères, France
Design: 2A Design
This (relatively) small home consists of three shipping containers. With a budget between $100,000 and $500,000, the architects were able to construct an abode that capitalizes on both their creativity and ingenuity, without racking up exuberant building costs. The home has three levels, each level being 1,000 square feet. The ground level has a covered entrance, garage, and laundry room; the second level houses the living room and garden. The main level is surrounded by two glass facades, one facing the street and another facing the home’s small garden. The top level is described as a solarium, where you can take in views of the surrounding village and the natural landscape.
Location: Lille, France
Design: Patrick Partouche
Built from eight recycled shipping containers, this remarkable two-story home uses terracotta, metal, wood, polycarbonate, and glass to form a full house. It’s notable for being surprisingly traditional in form and function: While many container homes revel in odd shapes or unique designs, this home is modeled after traditional two-story residential houses. Of course, that didn’t stop Partouche from creating a beautiful, spacious modern interior. The house was completed in 2010.
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California
Design: Whitaker Studio
Like a rare desert flower, James Whitaker’s container home is springing to life near the Joshua Tree National Park. While development on this particular house is ongoing (after being commissioned in 2017), you can see by the carefully rendered concept images just how incredible it will be. That star-like design also offers utility: It helps keep the house filled with natural light no matter where the sun may be, and improves cooling. Whitaker continues to create unique design concepts for other container-based housing and business developments.