Collection by Patrick Sisson

Who Knew a Relaxed Tropical Retreat Could Be Made of Shipping Containers


This modern residence and gallery near San Jose, Costa Rica uses metal boxes like puzzle pieces to create a photographer's dream home.

Architect Maria Jose Trejos loves modern lines and clean shapes, so when photographer Sergio Pucci asked her to build him a live-work space on a 6,240-square-foot plot in Guachipelin, Escazú, San José, the suggestion to incorporate shipping containers seemed like a suitable choice. After sourcing four of the massive metal boxes from the country's busy Caribbean port, Trejos stacked and slid them like puzzle pieces, creating a sunken gallery space and spacious rooftop terrace. "Designing with containers amplifies what I really like," says Trejos. "In terms of versatility, good taste and modern architecture, this is how I love to design." Trejos gave Dwell a run-through of the tropical live-work space, explaining why the rectangular raw material actually helped her create a building that perfectly suits her client's needs.

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