Sprawling Shipping Container Home Built in California

Some years ago the London-based architect James Whitaker designed an interesting shipping container office, which was unfortunately never built.  But earlier this year, a film producer from LA came across the plans and commissioned Whitaker to build him a home in the same style on his 90-acre (36-hectare) plot in Joshua Tree, California.

The Joshua Tree Residence, as the home is named, will measure a luxurious  2,152 sq ft (200 sq m) once complete. Though very realistic, the pictures are mere renders as construction has not yet begun.  Judging from the renders, the residence will be made out of 10-12 shipping containers, which will be left in pretty much the original state. To create the spacious interior layout, the containers will jut out at different angles and inclines. This will also ensure privacy and maximize the view of the surrounding desert.

The center of the home, where the shipping containers come together, will be taken up by a spacious living room, which will offer amazing views, while its large windows will let in plenty of natural light.  Elsewhere, the home will also feature three bedrooms, each with its own ensuite bathroom, a kitchen, and a dining room. There will also be a covered area for parking, which will be topped by a solar power array that will provide all the necessary power for the home.

While there will likely be no shortage of sunlight to harvest for electricity, living inside metal boxes in the desert might prove uncomfortably hot. Minimizing the heat gain will be achieved by painting the exterior in a light to reflect the heat, and installing high-performing insulation. The windows at the top of the house will also let out the hot air naturally, while there will also be air-conditioning units strategically placed throughout the home to cool it.

Construction is due to begin in 2018.

Cozy Shipping Container Tiny Home

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This shipping container tiny home was designed in a very unique way, which makes it both stand out from the crowd and quite spacious. It was built out of a single container, and designed by the firm Custom Container Living, which is based in Archie, Missouri.

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This tiny home, which does not yet have a name, has a total floorspace of 312 sq ft (28 sq m) and they used a standard 40 ft (12 m) shipping container to build it. They left the container in pretty much the original condition, though they added about 30 inches (76.2 cm) to its height, so they could build two lofts. They also cut away one of the end sections of the container and created a front porch out of it. The only other modification to the container they made was cutting out sections to install the doors and windows.

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The interior appears quite spacious and is comprised of a living area and a kitchenette. The latter is equipped with a fridge, a dishwasher, a washer/dryer combo unit, a sink, and a microwave, but there is no stove. The home also features a spacious bathroom, which is fitted with a tub, shower, toilet, and sink. The sleeping loft has an ample amount of headroom and is accessible via a staircase, which doubles as storage space. There is also another, smaller loft on the other side of the home, which is primarily intended as a storage area.

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The interior walls are clad in pine tongue and groove, while the exterior is clad in in smart lap siding with cedar edging. They used closed-cell foam for insulation, while a Mitsubishi mini-split system takes care of the cooling and heating needs.

This home can be used both on and off the grid. The basic model comes with all the necessary hookups for water and electricity, and is also pre-wired for TV and appliances. Customers can also opt for an off-the-grid version. The basic version of this container tiny home costs $47,000.

Student Housing Made From Shipping Containers

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There has been a bit of a lull in shipping container housing projects lately, though it seems the trend is still alive and well. The Danish firm CPH Containers are planning to build affordable student housing using repurposed shipping containers. They will be doing so in collaboration with Søren Nielsen of Vandkunsten Architects, and the first such student housing village, which will be located in Copenhagen, is slated to be completed by the end of this year.

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They plan to create several shipping container student villages and the first prototype unit has already been constructed. It is called CPH Shelter and was made out of a single 40-ft (12-m) shipping container to which a two-floor polycarbonate structure has been added. This part is actually a winter garden, and glows to resemble a lantern at night.

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The interior of the home is comprised of a living/dining area, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom, which is equipped with a shower and toilet. The bedroom also features a daybed. There is enough space in the winter garden to grow food and such, as well as for lounging. The walls and floors of the container were clad in sustainably-harvested Swedish pine, and the ceiling is covered with fire-retardant fiberboards. The basic shape of the container was left intact, though large holes were cut into the sides to create windows, which are fully operable.

In a climate such as that of Denmark, keeping warm is essential, so the container was insulated with wood fiber and paper-wool insulation, while the home also features an automated mechanical ventilation system and an efficient heat pump. The polycarbonate winter garden also traps warmth on sunny days, effectively warming the container.

The Copenhagen municipal council has already approved the project, so plans are underway to begin construction. They hope to build 2000 student housing units by 2019. These will be separated into villages, each of which will consist of 300-400 units of affordable student dwellings.

Top 5 Luxury Homes Made from Shipping Containers

A single, standard-sized shipping container works out great for a tiny living space, but might feel a little cramped. And therein lies the beauty of constructing a house out of shipping containers. You can easily stack them up, or line them side by side to create a larger dwelling. Below you will find five of the most ingenious luxury homes made from shipping containers, which are still quite sustainable, despite their larger size.

1. Beach Box

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This is a shipping container house located in the Hamptons in New York. The house was built out of six shipping containers and measures 2,000 square feet with a bonus 1,300 square feet of exterior deck. It features EcoTop counters, tankless water heating, a 16 SEER HVAC unit, and Energy Star appliances. The house is insulated with spray foam insulation and features a white thermoplastic roof, and FSC-certified cypress siding. Due to the cedar siding, the home looks nothing like a shipping container house from the outside, though the designers did leave the ceilings in their original state. more details…

2. The Sarah House

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The Sarah container home was constructed out of two 40-foot-long, 9-foot-6-inches-tall and 8-foot-wide recycled containers, which resulted in a total living area of 672-square-feet. The house is equipped with a gas-powered Rinnai tankless, point of demand water heating system, while for heating and cooling, a mini-split system made by Mitsubishi was installed. The system is able to track the occupants and point the heat or cooling towards them, which enabled the builders to forgo the ducting process. To insulate the house, they used Eckles insulation, which is natural insulation that uses sugar corn as a binder. more details…

3. Redondo Beach House

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This luxury shipping container home, located in California, was designed by DeMaria Design Associates. The home was built out of eight shipping container and is a luxury two-story, 3,200-square-foot home. Apart from using the shipping containers, the builders also used a number of other repurposed materials, including folding airplane hangar doors. For insulation, they used NASA-developed ceramic coating insulation, which was sprayed on with a coat that is slightly thicker than a credit card. more details…

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:
10 Ways to Use Shipping Containers as Homes
Awesome Shipping Container Homes in New York City
Inspiring Shipping Container Home Designs


Shipping Container Artist Retreat

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Cove Park is a cluster of buildings that can be used as retreats by artists of all media. It is located on the west coast of Scotland and was built out of recycled shipping containers. The complex stretches over 50 acres of beautiful, natural terrain, and all the shipping container units with a layer of grass to provide insulation and make them seem as one with the surrounding countryside.

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The Cove Park retreat was developed by the architecture firm Urban Space Management, and consists of 9 units equipped to provide a cozy, peaceful place in which artists can work. The whole complex was completed in only 6 days, due to the ease of using shipping containers as the main building material. One side of each container was replaced by large sliding doors, which provide awesome views of the lake Loch Long, as well as let plenty of natural daylight into the homes. The first three units were built in 2002 and due to their success, six more were added later.

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The original three units were welded together in a line in front of a small pond. Each of the shipping container units also has its own private deck, while the original loading doors of the containers were used to separate them off and offer the occupants some privacy. The units also have several porthole windows dotting the sides, which let in even more light, as well as give the units a more homely appearance. There is also a separate communal area with a domed ceiling, where artists in residence can interact.

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Inside, the units are simply and functionally decorated. There is a large living area with a sofa and comfortable workspace, while the units also have ensuite bathrooms. Space in the retreat is awarded based on a residency program, so it is, unfortunately impossible to rent any of them. All in all, however, it is a great, eco-friendly place to work and create and I’m sure the natural environment has inspired many a masterpiece to date.

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Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:
Shipping Container Architecture Helping to Solve Homelessness
A Beach Retreat Built From a Recycled Shipping Container
Awesome Shipping Container Homes in New York City