Five Inspirational Shipping Container Homes

written by:
July 20, 2012

Reclaimed shipping containers are ideal nesting spots for the residents of these five homes. Whether lured by the relatively inexpensive costs, ready supply, or aesthetic charm of containers, the residents applied their own perspective on how to reclaim and adapt these industrial castoffs. Click though our slideshow to see more.

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  Though this Texas garden retreat and guesthouse is only 8' x 40', it features all the comforts of a larger house: floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows, heating and air-conditioning, a green roof, bamboo flooring and wallcoverings, a small sink and shower, and a composting toilet.

“The green roof was an element that I had not thought of at the beginning, but as it turns out saves me more money on air-conditioning than the solar would have, and is a lot prettier,” says the resident.  Photo by: Chris Cooper
    Though this Texas garden retreat and guesthouse is only 8' x 40', it features all the comforts of a larger house: floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows, heating and air-conditioning, a green roof, bamboo flooring and wallcoverings, a small sink and shower, and a composting toilet. “The green roof was an element that I had not thought of at the beginning, but as it turns out saves me more money on air-conditioning than the solar would have, and is a lot prettier,” says the resident.

    Photo by: Chris Cooper

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  Here's a shot of the cozy interior. To see more of the container home, view our 17-image slideshow.  Photo by: Chris Cooper
    Here's a shot of the cozy interior. To see more of the container home, view our 17-image slideshow.

    Photo by: Chris Cooper

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  Jeff Wardell and Claudia Sagan's loft in San Francisco's Pacific Heights neighborhood was formerly a Chinese laundry and a tooth powder factory. Now it's home to their impressive collection of contemporary art and two revamped shipping containers that house a guest room and office. Furniture designer and builder Pat Carson tricked out the container with exposed copper piping and a Murphy bed. See the entire gallery of photographs here.  Photo by: Drew KellyCourtesy of: Drew Kelly
    Jeff Wardell and Claudia Sagan's loft in San Francisco's Pacific Heights neighborhood was formerly a Chinese laundry and a tooth powder factory. Now it's home to their impressive collection of contemporary art and two revamped shipping containers that house a guest room and office. Furniture designer and builder Pat Carson tricked out the container with exposed copper piping and a Murphy bed. See the entire gallery of photographs here.

    Photo by: Drew Kelly

    Courtesy of: Drew Kelly

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  "We wanted a small bedroom, one that would be interesting and that our friends would go home and talk to everybody about, that they slept in something interesting—but not so interesting that they would want to move in," says resident Jeff Wardell. Watch this video about living with a shipping container.  Photo by: Drew KellyCourtesy of: Drew Kelly
    "We wanted a small bedroom, one that would be interesting and that our friends would go home and talk to everybody about, that they slept in something interesting—but not so interesting that they would want to move in," says resident Jeff Wardell. Watch this video about living with a shipping container.

    Photo by: Drew Kelly

    Courtesy of: Drew Kelly

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  Architect Stephen Shoup's Oakland, California, home was once the shop of the late master woodcarver Miles Karpilow. Two converted shipping containers make up the live-work spaces.  Courtesy of: Eduado Soler
    Architect Stephen Shoup's Oakland, California, home was once the shop of the late master woodcarver Miles Karpilow. Two converted shipping containers make up the live-work spaces.

    Courtesy of: Eduado Soler

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  The bright interior features a concrete floor with hydronic radiant heating system. “There’s a minimalism that drives the basic design gestures,” notes Shoup. “I tried to temper that with a complementary materials," he says. View the slideshow of the house here.
    The bright interior features a concrete floor with hydronic radiant heating system. “There’s a minimalism that drives the basic design gestures,” notes Shoup. “I tried to temper that with a complementary materials," he says. View the slideshow of the house here.
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  Three containers make up the 1,538-square-foot Houston home of Kevin Freeman and Jen Feldman. The couple enlisted architect Christopher Robertson to design their abode. “I’ve always liked [shipping containers] for their texture and durability,” Robertson says. “The challenge was to build a legitimately sellable container house by making it feel like a typical home.” Read the full article here.  Photo by: Jack Thompson
    Three containers make up the 1,538-square-foot Houston home of Kevin Freeman and Jen Feldman. The couple enlisted architect Christopher Robertson to design their abode. “I’ve always liked [shipping containers] for their texture and durability,” Robertson says. “The challenge was to build a legitimately sellable container house by making it feel like a typical home.” Read the full article here.

    Photo by: Jack Thompson

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  Here's the living room, which is furnished with two red sofas from Room and Board and thrift store finds. “When we were furnishing the house, I thought, ‘Oh, no! Our fridge isn’t magnetic for [our son's] artwork,’ but then I realized the whole house is magnetic,” Feldmann says. “We’ve become magnet connoisseurs,” Freeman adds. See more of the home.  Photo by: Jack Thompson
    Here's the living room, which is furnished with two red sofas from Room and Board and thrift store finds. “When we were furnishing the house, I thought, ‘Oh, no! Our fridge isn’t magnetic for [our son's] artwork,’ but then I realized the whole house is magnetic,” Feldmann says. “We’ve become magnet connoisseurs,” Freeman adds. See more of the home.

    Photo by: Jack Thompson

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  Architect Christof Jantzen turned to shipping containers to cut down construction costs on a renovation of his Topanga Canyon house. “Most of the prefab structures on the market are very expensive, so I tried developing these container structures that would bring the cost margin of prefab down, which I think should happen.”
    Architect Christof Jantzen turned to shipping containers to cut down construction costs on a renovation of his Topanga Canyon house. “Most of the prefab structures on the market are very expensive, so I tried developing these container structures that would bring the cost margin of prefab down, which I think should happen.”
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  “The containers are not only recycled, they’re very sturdy—stacking up to eight stories high on cargo ships—they are the perfect building material,” says Jantzen. View more of the home and see how a shipping container is craned into place.
    “The containers are not only recycled, they’re very sturdy—stacking up to eight stories high on cargo ships—they are the perfect building material,” says Jantzen. View more of the home and see how a shipping container is craned into place.

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