The 404 is a new boutique hotel and restaurant in Nashville’s rapidly changing Gulch neighborhood. Housed in a former auto shop next to the legendary Station Inn music venue, the small space stands in stark contrast to the new, large developments that have recently sprung up. The restaurant in front is partially housed in a shipping container that both extends the entry up to the sidewalk and acts as a visual focal point on an otherwise subdued exterior. Photo by Caroline Allison.
Little Box on the Prairie is a 700-square-foot house made from two recycled shipping containers. It’s situated on 10-acres of rolling prairie, just north of Livingston Montana, and blends rustic coziness with clean, modern design. Many of the finishes, such as the redwood flooring and plywood wall panels, were salvaged off-site, recycled, and reused. The outside deck is perfect for chatting over morning coffee, enjoying an evening glass of wine, or gazing at the Absaroka Mountains while deer or antelope pass by. The house comfortably sleeps two, and a third can sleep on the sofa if needed.
Texas architect Jim Poteet helped Stacey Hill, who lives in a San Antonio artists’ community, wrangle an empty steel shipping container into a playhouse, a garden retreat, and a guesthouse for visiting artists. The container measures a narrow and long 8 by 40 feet; Hill asked that a portion of the square footage be retained as a garden shed and the rest serve as the living space.
“The owners wanted it to look like a shipping yard that someone had made a restaurant around, in the same way that local artists in the River Arts District have repurposed factory spaces into art studios,” said Project Architect Myles Alexander. The three-story structure lets in light from the highest level, where the bottoms of the containers were removed.
Finished in 2013, the 3,660-square-foot Casa Incubo was built from stacking and sliding four shipping containers to create a residence and gallery for photographer Sergio Pucci (who took all the photos of his new home). Set on flat ground, the two-story structure ended up being much easier for architect Maria Jose Trejos to complete than a typically constructed home, saving roughly 20 percent of the cost of a standard concrete block design.
Transforming shipping containers into habitable spaces is a growingly popular subset of prefab. Just off the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, Martha Moseley and Bill Mathesius adapted an unused concrete foundation to create a home made from 11 stacked shipping containers. "We were inspired by the site, and our desire to have something cool and different," says Moseley.
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