Decameron - Low Budget Colorful Shipping Container Store, Brazil

This ISO container building was designed and built of six ISO containers and existing double height hangar structure, taking advantage of the cubic volume and the linearity of the container spaces. Huge sliding polycarbonate doors connect the building with an inner garden and the city.

About Studio MK27

Project: Decameron
Design: Studio MK27
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Containers: 6
Site area: 540 sqm
Built area: 250 sqm
Architect: Marcio Kogan
Co-architects: Mariana Simas
Architecture team: Danilo Terra, Maria Cristina Motta, Oswaldo Pessano, Pedro Tuma
Interiors team: Diana Radomysler
Landscape designer: Renata Tilli
Structure engineer: Pouguett Engenharia e Projetos
General contractor: Terra Gaia
Project year: May 2008
Completion year: January 2011
Photographer: Pedro Vannucchi

In a trendy spot on the most popular decoration street in the city, Gabriel Monteiro da Silva Mall, the last empty lot remained.

The client rented the land and instructed the architect to develop a very low-cost project, something that could be quickly built, respecting the existing trees.

The idea was to use shipping containers, reuse a finished object, a surplus from the current intense exchange of goods.

The project was organized into two container tunnels, taking advantage of the linearity of their internal spaces, and a double-height hangar connected to them, a contrasting cubic volume. Huge polycarbonate sliding doors connect the store with the city and an internal garden.

Modular Shipping Container Home in Mojave Desert, California

About Echo Tech Design
About 44 West Construction

ProjectThe Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain
DesignWalter Scott Perry, Echo Tech Design
ContractorEric Engheben, 44 West Construction
Area1,200 SF living area + 1,000 SF film studio
LocationJoshua Tree, California, USA
PhotographyJack Parsons

The modular shipping container home is composed of diverse steel elements, including: 6 repurposed containers, a 10,000 gallon water tank, a Butler pre-engineered building, and a steel shade canopy with integrated metal framing system that provides wind, fire and earthquake protection, extraordinary strength, as well as large door and window openings to maximize cooling, ventilation, and natural daylighting. An adjustable, bolt-on shade and steel frame system creates wind, glare and 50% solar heat reduction on the house; solar breezeway creates suitable location for plug-in attachment of future water heating panel and solar electric arrays.

By combining mass-produced and high-efficiency modular construction methods with contemporary innovative design in one of the most harsh climate zones in United States, designers have developed a sustainable and low-cost housing system that can be delivered and quickly assembled anywhere in the world.

Description from architects

A prototype hybrid house, also known as the Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain is the first repurposed container home permitted and built in the Mojave Desert. Based on the fuel-efficient Prius automobile engineering concept, the residence combines the energy and production efficiencies of diverse pre-engineered building and energy systems working together seamlessly to produce a smooth-running hybrid green machine for living.

The residence is a prototype of 2nd generation pre-fab design and a kit-like housing product developed by ecotechbuild, the design-build subsidiary of ecotechdesign. It is constructed from 5-20′ long recycled cargo containers that were fabricated and finished in Los Angeles and then shipped to the site where they were erected and stacked 2 high in 15 minutes each. All site work, including foundations and utility placement was constructed at the remote desert site during container fabrication in Los Angeles.

The residence is the 1 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath, 2 story model hybridhouse_1 design that has been adapted for a media client who required a separate photo studio and storage building. The studio is constructed of a Butler pre-engineered steel building with plug-in cargo container storage. It is naturally daylite with 22″ dia. Solutubes, which can be manually controlled and temperature balanced using efficient, dimmable strip lighting.

The container residence and the pre-engineered, steel studio structure act as two bookends that support framing and, in turn a perforated metal shade canopy that wraps the container’s roof, south-facing steel walls and the dramatic 20′ high outside living space, aka solar breezeway to provide protection against desert heat, glare, wind and blowing sand. The breezeway, in turn moderates and then directs a flow of air through the container spaces to enhance passive cooling. A naturally lit, steel-clad stair structure connects the 2 level stacked containers and doubles as a 20′ story high photo gallery in which to display artwork.

Other features include:

  • Hybrid House Design: based on the efficient Prius engineering concept, the hybrid house concept combines diverse, pre-engineered building and energy conservation features to maximize efficiency and cost savings, while offering architectural design flexibility and variation.
  • All Recycled Steel Construction: the project is composed of diverse components, including: (6) repurposed ISO cargo containers, a Butler pre-engineered building, a 10,000 gal. storage tank, at solar shade canopy and an integrated steel framing system that provides extraordinary strength, earthquake, fire and wind protections, as well as large window and door openings to maximize natural daylighting, ventilation and cooling.
  • Solar Home Shading System: a bolt-on, adjustable steel frame and perforated metal shade system creates 50% solar heat, glare and wind reduction on the building and solar breezeway and allows for the plug-in attachment of future solar electric and water heating panel arrays.
  • Living Roof System: movable, bolt and add-on modules use greywater irrigation and are planted with native desert plants and sedums to absorb heat, glare, dust and CO2.
  • Water Conservation: integrated greywater for irrigation, water harvesting and storage systems.
  • Energy Conservation: an innovative steel framework allows for the placement of a “cool roof” and insulation system and a triple wall insulation system combine to create a building envelope that exceeds California energy code requirements by 50%. All appliances, fixtures and heating systems are Energy Star rated.
  • Reduced Costs: Finished construction costs, including footings and sitework was $150/SF, far below construction costs for comparable prefab home or manufactured home construction.

Simple Shipping Container Home with Detached Roof Made of Two 20 ft Containers, Thailand

About BlueBrown

Containers2 x 20 ft

This simple shipping container home is made of two 20 ft containers and located in Thailand not far from Bangkok. The home has 1 bedroom, living area and embedded prefab bathroom unit. The containers are insulated with recycled thermal insulation with roof layer above the home to prevent the transmission of heat into the habitable areas.

Detached roof on this shipping container home is heated by the sun in the same way as a regular roof, but a detached roof transfers less heat to the living space.

2000 sq ft Shipping Container House, Kansas City, Missouri

About BNIM
About Home Contained

ProjectGlassberg Container House
Design and buildBNIM and Home Contained (Debbie Glassberg)
Area2000 sq ft
LocationKansas City, Missouri

While homes made of containers is not a new idea, this ocean shipping container house design is unique in how it combine spaces and areas that nurture the inhabitants. Delightful to be in and easy to maintain, these spaces are inspiring and generous. The designer created three kinds of spaces: Container Space offers unique livable areas, Contained Space – the area created between two or more containers and Uncontained Space – which is the area beyond the building, integrally connected to an overall structure.

Description from builders

BNIM collaborated with Debbie Glassberg to design her new residence constructed from five shipping containers in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri. The containers, pieced together with a steel and concrete framework, create space for two bedrooms, an office, television room, kitchen, dining area, living room and three bathrooms. The pre-fabricated containers are taller than typical shipping containers, allowing for large windows that create an open and light-filled space. The roof of the two-story residence includes an edible garden and patio.

Small shipping container home, Auckland, New Zealand

This small shipping container home can be used as a spare room, studio, home office, sleepout or anything you want. The transportable 20 foot container unit can include various home devices for any taste and budget and so generates portable rooms with various functionality and can be delivered anywhere in the world.

Design: One Cool Habitat

12 Containers 4,000 sqft Beautiful Shipping Container Home, Maine

Floor plans / Drawings
About Adam Kalkin
About Sheridan Corporation
About Industrial Zombie

ArchitectAdam Kalkin
BuilderSheridan Corporation
ProjectAdriance House
Area4,000 sq feet (371 sq m)
Cost$125/square foot
LocationNorthern Maine
PhotographyPeter Aaron/Esto

This beautiful container home was built by stacking twelve shipping containers and replacing some of the steel container walls with large windows. The design creates the feeling as if there are exterior entrances, courtyards and houses within the building. By using inexpensive, readily available shipping containers to built the home, the architect managed to keep the cost of this beautiful container home at about $125/square foot.

Description by designboom

Architect Adam Kalkin combines 12 shipping containers inside a larger structure to create the Adriance House in Northern Maine. The shipping container home uses the containers partially for structure, supporting a glazed glass structure that envelops the home. The containers flank the two side walls of the home and on the ground floor are open to reveal the kitchen and the living area. Two steel staircases lead up to the second level of containers where the bedrooms are located. The whole space covers close to 4000 square feet and features a double height garage door style opening that connects the entire home to the outdoors. Kalkin worked with butler to construct the shipping container home. Butler has a long history with pre-fabricated architecture, having worked with Buckminster Fuller in the 1940’s on his dymaxion deployment unit.

Description by mainehomedesign

In a region filled with green-shuttered, white-clapboarded, quintessential New England homes, it’s a stunning sight to come upon a life-vest orange, corrugated-metal home with expansive glass walls. Made from twelve industrial shipping containers, the home is anything but traditional or expected, and yet the Adriance home somehow seems entirely in harmony with the rugged, rocky coastline. The home is built from twelve containers divided into two groups of six. The containers are stacked on top of each other like Legos, and the two container sections are connected by a glass-walled, open-concept central room with a ceiling that soars to 25 feet.

How did this example of cutting-edge architecture end up in a quaint town in Maine? Transfixed by the summers she spent in Blue Hill Bay during her youth, Anne Adriance wanted to continue the tradition as an adult, bringing her husband, Matthew, and their two sons into the fold. Adriance admitted that, when they initially purchased the secluded, 10-acre plot, she didn’t have a strong sense of what she wanted in a home, design-wise. Her only thought was that it would probably make sense to work with a local architect, someone who would have ready access to the site. But Adriance soon found herself consulting with her friend Adam Kalkin, an architect from New Jersey—where, ironically, the Adriances live in a classical Victorian home. Ultimately, it was Adriance and Kalkin’s creative compatibility that led to their partnership on the project.

Kalkin, a Vassar College graduate, is known for pushing the envelope in both art and design. He first became fascinated with containers in the 1990s while using them in his artwork. He has since made a name for himself in the emerging field of “cargotecture.” Kalkin completed the Collector’s House, another container structure, for the Shelburne Museum during the latter planning stages of the Adriance home, and the two structures share several similarities, including the bold use of vibrant orange transoceanic shipping containers. Renowned interior designer Albert Hadley also worked on both projects.

Working with the steel shipping containers requires skills more often found in commercial construction, so Kalkin contracted Sheridan Corporation, one of Maine’s largest commercial builders, to install and weld the metal containers. Then the Brooklin-based construction firm Prin A. Allen & Sons, Inc., completed the finish work. Sheridan’s foreman, Doug Cutchin, now retired after more than forty years, said that, looking back, the Adriance home was “the frosting on the cake—marrying a modern, utilitarian design to an old Downeast setting.”

Surry Gardens, another local company, created a soothing Japanese garden in the rocky soil, as well as a striking wall of Rosa rugosa (beach roses) near the driveway. In front of the house, they also planted an array of—you guessed it—orange lilies of multiple hues that bloom from spring to fall.

The outdoors is integral to Kalkin’s architectural vision for the home. One of the most magnificent features of the house is an enormous glass-paned garage door, which can be opened onto a back deck where glimpses of the ocean can be seen through the surrounding fir trees. The garage door remains open for most of summer, even during rainstorms, and the subtle sound of raindrops on the metal roof has become one of Adriance’s favorite aspects of living in the container home. Flowing, floor-to-ceiling microfiber drapes gently frame the glass ends of the house, simultaneously counterbalancing the rigid metal architecture and acting as a raincoat when drawn.

Early on, Adriance, herself an artist whose delicate watercolors adorn the walls, decided that the project’s success necessitated that she “just give over to [Kalkin’s] ideas and his vision and go with it.” She adds that “it was such a dramatic and bold kind of decision to design the house the way it is that anything I changed would sort of change the vision.” And with this single act of trust, the container house was born. “There’s this big open room where everybody can be together, and then there’s the privacy of having your own little container and being able to close the curtains and be in your own little space,” Adriance says. “Being up in these upstairs bedrooms is so great—you feel like you’re in a tree house.” In contrast to the bright-orange, corrugated-metal walls of the communal space, the sheetrock walls of the intimate containers seem conventional.

The decision to intensify the containers’ natural, rust-orange color surprised Adriance, who had originally envisioned a dark-green color that would blend into the landscape. But Adriance again deferred to Kalkin’s vision, and she now believes that the orange not only maintains the integrity of the containers, but that the color is in keeping with the structure’s overall authenticity. “Things are what they are. They’re not disguised…You see where things were welded. You see how things were put together. There is not an intent to hide where something’s bolted. It is what it is, and that’s part of the beauty of it.” Yet underlying this transparent approach to construction is the aura of mystery surrounding each shipping container’s history, about which Adriance admits to pondering. One almost wishes the containers came with passports, or the exotic labels of vintage luggage, to document their global journeys.

The two teak staircases and upstairs hallways on each side of the house resemble the decking on a boat, further illustrating the seaside home’s connection to its seafaring past. The teak is coated with a clear varnish, allowing the wood’s natural radiance to shine through. Skylights let in natural light at the top of the staircases, where the metal ceiling starts its rise to the peak.

Located in the heart of the home, and accenting the teak stairs, is a rustic wooden farmhouse table that seats fifteen, facilitating large gatherings. The green microfiber drapes, a 12-foot-long custom couch, and large, overstuffed armchairs intentionally sized to compete with the scale of the massive room were all Albert Hadley’s inspirations. But it was Adriance who filled the home with local artwork, including Glimmer, an ocean scene painted by Tom Curry. Adriance also added whimsical wooden animal statues by Dan Falt, a former Wall Street trader who returned home to Maine and took up sculpting. Adriance is also responsible for what is perhaps the home’s pièce de résistance—the humorous (and fake) moose head installed prominently above the kitchen island.

Kalkin himself designed the two bronze lamps that bookend the couch. When Adriance was asked if the architect normally designs lighting or other accessories to go with his designs, she laughed and said that she wouldn’t say “normally” about anything the versatile, imaginative Kalkin dreams up. Adriance also says that this unconventional home is in many ways more functional than her family’s traditional New Jersey home. She loves the container home’s openness and ease of maintenance. The home’s cement floors are easily swept or vacuumed, and the radiant-heat system makes damp days and early winter mornings comfortable.


Adriance takes evident pride in her house—a pride that is clearly justified. She describes Kalkin’s design as one that “makes you stop and notice it. But it does it in a way that has you really consider your notions of What is house? What is home?” As for her own home, Adriance eloquently says that she sees it “as a work of immense creativity and art itself. It is our home for sure, but it has always been more than that for me.”

4 Bedroom Cargo Container Home with External Insulation, Quebec, Canada

About Maison Idekit

Architect and OwnerBernard Morin
DesignMaison Idekit
Area3,000 square feet
LocationSt. Adele, Quebec, Canada
Project cost$175,000

This 3,000 square feet cargo container home in Quebec has four bedrooms. In the seven cargo units home the container walls are exposed on the inside. On the outside, the container home walls have five inches of thermoinsulation that is topped by wood siding. This energy-efficient, durable and bright inside home cost about $175,000 to build.

A Quebec architect and his wife have transformed seven old steel shipping containers into a contemporary architectural gem in Ste. Adele, Quebec, Canada.

Rather than spend about $400,000 to build their 3,000-square-foot dream home out of wood, the couple decided to use an eco-friendly alternative at the bargain price of $175,000.

The home is the first project of Joyce Labelle and Bernard Morin's company Maison Idekit Home, and the first of its kind in Quebec.

Labelle and Morin began building their three-bedroom house in 2007, and the next year they moved in with their six children.

The main pieces of the house were the steel shipping containers, six metres high and 2.5 metres wide.

The containers have been arranged in an unconventional Cubist design, taking advantage of the natural slope setting -- nestled in the woods of St. Adele, northwest of Montreal. Some containers are stacked upright, others on their sides or stacked on top of each other.

The master bedroom departs from the main portion of the house and a large balcony encircles the back supported by stilts. It's like a big Lego project.

Widows of different sizes and shapes have been cut into the containers. Five inches of urethane insulation have been added to outer layer, and then finally protected by brown wood siding.

Indoors, many of the walls retain the corrugated look of the standard shipping containers. The original dents and serial numbers add to the character of the home.

The container concept has been a dream of Morin's for years, Labelle said.

"He used to be an architect for many years. He had this dream to transform containers, but it wasn't the proper time," she told.

But these days, building environmentally-friendly housing is also a good business proposition, and this was an ideal time for the couple to build their first prototype.

For the past years architects thinking green have used shipping containers to provide affordable housing. They've also been used for shelters in hurricane-prone areas in the United States, for student housing in Holland and for a residential development in London, England called "Container City."

After withstanding the punishing weather of the high seas, the containers make for durable homes. The hurricane-proof containers are resistant to rust, mould, termites and fire.

The constructive concept developed by Bernard Morin is simple but innovative. At the start there are shipping containers and, on arrival, a contemporary detached house. The Quebec architect has been convinced, for nearly twenty-five years, that steel caissons can be as useful in the field of construction as in that of transport. To inhabit them, he explains that it is enough simply "to transform them then to juxtapose them or to superimpose them". Only here it is: despite the ingenuity of the system, its customers have never dared to go beyond the conceptual stage. To convince them, Bernard Morin had to set an example ...

A house assembled in 3 hours

First step of the project: find land. Wishing to live in harmony with nature, the architect finally opted - after two years of research - for a wooded plot located in Sainte-Adèle, north of Montreal.

As the plans for the house were complex, it was necessary to have seven sea containers delivered by truck. A singular moment of which Jocelyne Labelle, the architect's companion, keeps a strong memory: "of all the stages of the site, the arrival of sea containers on the ground is the one that impressed me the most", says -she. The containers, which serve as the load-bearing structure for the house, were installed on the foundation in just half a day. "You just had to fit the pieces together like in a lego game", laughs Bernard Morin. The rest of the work was spread over ten months. A period of time during which the couple got down to transforming the containers: integrating openings and insulating them, preferably from the outside in order to conserve as much living space as possible.

The end result is stunning since, thanks to the presence of an exterior facing, the existence of the containers is completely erased. For the architect, the use of end-of-life shipping containers in construction is above all of ecological interest. Instead of being abandoned in ports, steel boxes are indeed recycled. The shipping container house also wins because it is assembled quickly, has good mechanical resistance and, above all, is scalable.

To expand it, you just need to add a container or two, as needed. A practical solution already implemented in existing homes on the outskirts of Montreal. This is undoubtedly a first step before moving on to the construction of individual houses exclusively made up of containers. Moreover, according to the market study carried out by Bernard Morin, self-builders in North America and Europe could well be the first to get started!

1x20 ft and 2x40 ft Shipping Container Home, Houston, Texas

About Numen Development
About Christopher Robertson

ProjectCordell House
DesignChristopher Robertson, Numen Development
Containers1x20 ft, 2x40 ft plus 1x40 ft guest unit
Area1,858 sq ft
LocationHouston, Texas
PhotographyJack Thompson

Despite unconventional building elements of this shipping container home, the architects created a traditional rectangular home plan. Outside, the three units, one 20-foot container and two 40-foot containers form the three facades, with a glass wall to the fourth completing the perimeter of the home. The master suite is placed in the 40-foot unit; the second bedroom and an opening for the playroom and office, also take up the 40-foot module; and the laundry and kitchen rooms house the 20-foot container. Outside 400 sq ft deck connects the house to a 40 foot container that inhabits the storage shed and guest quarters.

Description by architect

This shipping container home in Houston, Texas, was designed for a speculative builder, however, it sold prior to completion and thus reflects the personality of its owners. When investigating the use of containers, we quickly concluded that thinking of them as 8′ thick walls rather than as rooms made the most sense. We were able to program the “walls” with functions that fit in that tight dimension like bathrooms, a kitchen, and closets. The primary space of the house however is created in the center of a U-shaped arrangement of three containers. A fourth container houses a small guest suite and acts as a site wall that encloses a small court yard.

Refrigerated Shipping Container Home, San Francisco, California

About Leger Wanaselja Architecture

DesignLeger Wanaselja Architecture
ProjectBoucher Grygier Shipping Container House
Containers3x40' refrigerated shipping containers
Area1350 sqft
LocationSan Francisco, California, USA
ConstructionScott Bailey
PhotographsLeger Wanaselja Architecture

This refrigerated shipping container home in San Francisco, California, incorporates three pre-insulated containers into the structure of this three bedroom, 1350 square foot house. Made to withstand tremendous loads and, with built-in refrigerated units, to keep low constant temperature, these refrigerated shipping containers make excellent architecture building blocks and they easily meet the existing building codes.

Description by architects

Re-purposing used refrigerated shipping containers is extremely resource efficient.  The containers act as a weatherproof exterior siding, insulation, and structural frame.  Minimal insulation needs to be added at the roof and floor.  Framing is only needed where bay windows and interior partition walls are added.  Waterproofing is only needed where windows and doors are added.   Aside from the containers, which make up most of the building, green materials include:

▪ blown in cellulose insulation at the roof
▪ 50% flyash concrete foundation
▪ “green seal” low-voc paint on the interior
▪ water-based urethane finish on the wood
▪ 100% wool carpet and bamboo flooring

The house was also designed to minimize energy use through passive solar design.  Deep eaves minimize summer solar gain, while allowing winter solar heating.  Well placed windows supply excellent daylighting and summer ventilation.  Additional energy and water saving features such as stacked plumbing, roof rainwater collection, high efficacy lighting, and Solatubes further reduce ecological impacts.

Shipping Container House Built into Hill, Wellington, New Zealand


DesignRoss Stevens
LocationWellington, New Zealand
PhotographsPetra Alsbach-Stevens

This prefab modular shipping container home built into hill, is an excellent example of industrial design in residential housing. Re-use of sea containers make the price of this 3 container 4 story home very attractive. The shipping containers are quite durable, allow designers to widely combine the arrangement of premises and provide great opportunities for architects of modular houses.

All three levels are homely, cozy and offer the modern comforts of a contemporary house with many more quirky features conventional houses don't have. Two large outdoor decks face towards a beautiful leafy Greywacke rock face as well as your own private waterfall - a great place to entertain friends and have dinners and drinks.

Superb indoor/outdoor flow into a kitchen ensures a relaxed living space with dining table. The top floor media/cinema room is great for kids to enjoy a movie or play video games. The pool room offers great billiard table and sofa seating.

Three unique bedrooms can sleep up to 6 people with extra bedding available for 2 more guests. There are 2 bathrooms, 8 seater spa pool with jet bubbles and outdoor shower for the brave.

2000 sq ft Modular Shipping Container Home, East Hampton, New York

Floor plans
About SG Blocks

ProjectBeach Box
DesignAndrew Anderson and SG Blocks
Area2000 square feet
Exterior deck area1300 square feet
LocationAmagansett Dunes, East Hampton, New York, USA

This modular container home is located about 600 feet from the ocean and is consist of six modules made of shipping containers. In the four containers on the ground level there are four bedrooms, in the two containers on top there are dining room, living room and open kitchen. The home's features are white oak floors, cypress decking and siding, white thermoplastic roof, spray foam insulation, energy-efficient windows and Energy Star appliances.

Description from - Jan 22, 2018

At the time it was built, it was novel. Seven years later, it’s still an East End oddity—even though it doesn’t appear all that peculiar at first glance.

Located on the Napeague Stretch in Amagansett along Montauk Highway, the Beach Box is a beach house like any other, except this summer retreat is constructed from six used shipping containers.

The nearly 2,000-square-foot residence built in 2011 sits on 0.17 acre and has four bedrooms, two full bathrooms and one half-bath. There is also a custom chef’s kitchen and white oak floors. Outside are 1,300 square feet of decking and a heated pool, plus a new roof deck. The siding is cypress and the decking is cedar—all certified sustainable materials.

Douglas Elliman real estate broker Andrew Anderson developed Beach Box, with ambitions that it would be the first of six to be built on the South Fork in a two-year period. However, the first Beach Box is still the only one.

Mr. Anderson explained on Friday that after Beach Box he moved on to a much higher end construction model that shipping containers were not suited for. Now the East Hampton-based firm that he’s a part of, MAP Development, builds spec houses in the $4 million to $7 million range.

“There are some constraints with container construction that would have become cost prohibitive for me to accomplish what I need to, to sell at that price point,” Mr. Anderson said. “If I were to build something in the Beach Boxes price category again, I would certainly revisit the use of containers for a project like that.”

To construct Beach Box, MAP Development partnered with SG Blocks of Brooklyn Heights, which makes everything from retail locations and Starbucks cafés to military barracks out of retired steel shipping containers that otherwise would have been melted down.

A standard shipping container has an 8-foot ceiling height, which is lower than what is desired in high-end residential construction, Mr. Anderson noted. While the boxes can be cut and stacked to achieve greater ceiling heights, that would undermine the benefits of building with shipping containers.

“The more you start to manipulate the boxes, the less cost effective it is, and you also start losing the sustainability,” Mr. Anderson said.

Because the boxes are manipulated to accommodate windows, doors, stairs and more before they are delivered to the building site, they can be assembled in just one day, which was the case with Beach Box.

Beach Box asked $1,395,000 when it hit the market in 2012. It was sold in 2013 for $975,000, a considerable discount.

Mr. Anderson attributed the gap between the original asking price and the final sale price to the fact that Beach Box is located right on the heavily trafficked Montauk Highway. “It was harder to overcome than we had anticipated,” he said.

The purchaser was officially listed as Casa Di Bianco Sabio, a limited liability company. The name is Italian, and it translates to “House of White Sand.”

The man behind the LLC was William White, the president and CEO of broadcast promotions agency Firefly Creative Entertainment Group. Mr. White candidly explained Friday that he chose the Italian name to give the property “some cache” and to identify it as something other than a “shipping container house.”

“You would never know, unless someone told you,” Mr. White said of Beach Box’s unconventional building materials. “The only thing that’s exposed, as far as the shipping container, is an accent wall in the downstairs foyer—and it’s just more for architectural design effects—and then also the ceiling of the top floor has the shipping container exposed. Other than that, you would never know.”

When he reveals his beach house is made out of shipping containers, it raises eyebrows.

“My friends in Connecticut, they’re a little poshy, and they keep going, ‘Don’t you live in a dumpster?” Mr. White said.

He tells them, “No, it’s 2,000 square feet, four bedrooms, three baths”

“Isn’t it a tiny house?” they persist, to which he reiterates it is “2,000 square feet, with 3,000 feet of exterior decking.”

“They are just kind of kidding around, but still, people in their minds, they have no idea what a shipping container house is, and they still think it’s probably flimsy, or to them it’s just a step above a tin shed with a garden,” Mr. White said.

The reality is quite different.

“It’s pretty grand and it’s wide open space, especially having it being reversed, with the bedrooms downstairs and the main living upstairs.”

And because of all the windows, the views are spectacular, he added.

Deciding to take further advantage of the views—the Atlantic Ocean less than 1,000 feet to the south and Napeague Harbor an even shorter distance to the north—Mr. White added a rooftop deck to Beach Box this past May.

“It’s spectacular, not only sunrises, but sunsets,” he said.

Now, Mr. White has put Beach Box on sale for more than double the original purchase price. It hit the market in the fall for $2,250,000, though the asking price was reduced to $2,100,000 in November.

He said that as much as he enjoys Beach Box, he had gotten little use of out it of late because now his career requires him to spend more time in Los Angeles—his company produces promos for FX shows such as “American Horror Story” and “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” and he is developing a feature film.

“If it sells it’s great,” Mr. White said. “If it doesn’t sell, I still get to keep it.”

He said that what attracted him to Beach Box in the first place is that “it is a quintessential beach house,” just a quick walk to the ocean and the Lobster Roll.

“When you go to the Hamptons, you think beach, not country cottage in the middle of a farm,” Mr. White said.

Earthquake-Resistant Modular Shipping Container Home

Floor plans
About ARQtainer

ProjectCasa Liray
Containers3x20 ft and 2x40 ft
Area115 m² (1240 ft²)
Project cost$75,000 USD
Building time3 month
LocationColina, Chile

This earthquake-resistant modular shipping container home was made with three 20-foot and two 40-foot shipping containers. The customers wanted an earthquake-proof home at an affordable price, and architects were able to deliver a home design to suit client's needs using the shipping container as the structure. The earthquake-resistant modular shipping container home was built for about $75,000 USD in three months.

Three 20-foot containers have the kitchen and living room, while two 40-foot containers have the bathrooms and bedrooms. Original shipping container flooring was replaced with quality hardwood flooring. The builder insulated the ceiling and walls with spray-applied cellulose to avoid acoustic and thermal bridges, installed energy-efficient windows and then finished the interior.

Description from architects.

The project is created by the need of the client to build a house quickly, earthquake resistant and low cost, programmatically all set in 115 m². Maritime containers are chosen because these inherently present all these characteristics, because they have a strong structure, already defined modular spaces and mainly constructive speed due to the fact that a large part of their execution was developed in a workshop, being transferred with a good percentage of advance to the site, reducing auditory pollution and the impact generated by a construction site.

The work was located on a plot of 6775 m² and at its eastern end to maintain distance from the road and to obtain views towards the Andes mountain range, rising 55 cm above the ground level to give it more height and separate it from the soil. The lower space is used for installations.

Volumetrically it is defined by 5 shipping containers: two 40-foot containers that spatially house the private areas (bedrooms), plus three of 20 feet that contain the public spaces (living, dining room, kitchen) and the service, the articulation of these areas is made up of two spaces defined by attached structures, an access hall and a service patio, giving space and volumetric continuity to the house.

In order to respect the required square meters, the façade is set back in the bedroom area, adjusting it towards the corridor.

Taking advantage of the strong structure offered by the containers, a terrace was installed on the living and dining area to take advantage of the distant views and at the ends of the first level the pre-existing doors were used to structure the balconies.

Regarding the subject of insulation, walls and ceiling were isolated with cellulose wool, which has good thermal and acoustic characteristics of high efficiency. Thermopanels and cross vents also added to control heat in summer.

Shipping Container Cabins, Homes and Buildings by HyBrid Architecture

Shipping Container Art Studio, Long Island, New York

About MB Architecture

DesignMaziar Behrooz
ClientAndrea Shapiro
Area840 sq ft
Containers2x40 ft HC
LocationAmagansett, Long Island, New York

The client needed a small art studio close to her residence. Her requirements were a stringent budget of $60,000 for a simple building that would be both reflective and inviting, located on an area of about 700 sf. Architect's solution was to use two 40ft shipping containers perched over a foundation cellar/wall. By cutting most part of the floor of the containers, architects were able to take an advantage of a high ceiling and to move the art studio to a lower level. The staircase itself can act as a transitional space for viewing art work. The upper floor provides a sitting area and a more intimate work area. The container units were painted dark charcoal to help to maintain continuity with the main original house and to recede in the shadows of a dense wooded site.

Description by architects.

An art studio made of recycled shipping containers on the East End of Long Island, in Amagansett, New York. It includes 900 sf of space and a double height ceiling. Winner of an AIA Peconic Award and featured in numerous publications and design blogs.

The client needed an art studio close to her house (which we renovated in 2008). Her requirements called for a space of about 900 sf , a tight budget and for a simple structure that would be both inviting and reflective.

Our solution was to use two 9’-6” x 40’ x 8’ shipping containers (cost: $2,500 each, delivered) perched over a 9’ foundation wall/cellar. By cutting 75% of the floor of the containers, we were able to move the painting studio to a lower level via a wide staircase and take advantage of a high ceiling. The staircase itself acts as a transitional space for viewing art work.

The upper floor provides a more intimate work area and a sitting area.

The containers were painted dark charcoal to maintain continuity with the original house and to recede in the shadows of a dense wooded site.

The total area of the studio is 840 sf.

Shipping Container House with Green Roof, San Antonio, Texas

Floor plan
About Poteet Architects

DesignPoteet Architects
LocationSan Antonio, Texas, USA
PhotographyChris Cooper

This Poteet Architects’s project is a successful implementation of client’s wish to experiment with shipping containers. The shipping container house with green roof serves as a small guest house and is fitted with a custom stainless sink and a WC/shower. Large sliding window opens the interior space to the surrounding natural landscape.

The design emphasis is on the sustainable strategies: recycling of shipping container for a permanent use; the green roof provides shade and natural insulation to reduce heat gain. Grey water is collected from the shower and sink, and is used for green roof irrigation. The WC is a composting toilet. Interior space insulated with high efficient spray foam and lined with natural bamboo plywood suitable for walls and floor.

40,000 USD Shipping Container Home

Drawings/floor plans
About Benjamin Garcia Saxe

ProjectContainers of Hope
DesignBenjamin Garcia Saxe
BuilderOwner, Self Built
Area100 sqm (1076 sqft)
ClientPeralta Family
LocationSan Jose, Costa Rica
PhotographyAndres Garcia Lachner

A young couple dreamed of living in their own home 20 minutes outside of the city, where they could enjoy the natural landscape with their horses. They made the bold choice of exploring with architect Benjamin Garcia Saxe the possibility of creating an inexpensive shipping container home that allowed them to live the life they always dreamed of and be dept free. One of the important goals for architect was to provide customers with the spectacular views, the sunset, the sunrise, and overall create a feeling of home and comfort.

Description by architects

This house made of two shipping containers allowed the Peralta family to fulfill their dream of living outside of San Jose, enjoying the natural landscape and being close to their horses.

The Containers of Hope project was an experiment for both client and architect but it paid off and has become an internationally-renowned example of the creative beautiful design using shipping containers.

The containers are staggered and offer dual aspect views, meaning that the owners can enjoy the sun rise and sunset.

A roof between the two sections of the home is made from the scrap pieces of metal taken to make the windows; this not only creates an internal sensation of openness but also provides a cross ventilation which negatesthe need for air conditioning. The adventurous spirit of this project means that the owners are able to live debt-free in a beautiful landscape.

The final cost of the house (40,000USD) is lower than the cost of social housing provided for the poor in Costa Rica.

Perhaps this project begins to expose the importance of design as a tool to provide beauty and comfort with a very low budget in the 21st century, whilst using creativity to not only redefine a scrap material such a disused shipping container, but perhaps to even show that there are viable, low cost, passive alternatives of temperature control to adapt to a very intense tropical climate.

Already this proposal has began to spark a great deal of interest and could become one alternative to solve the issue of disposing of disregarded shipping containers in developing countries, as well as begin to solve the large gap which first time buyers encounter when purchasing a home.

1500 sq ft 2 Bedroom Off-the-Grid Shipping Container Home, Nederland, Colorado

Green off-the-grid shipping container home

Floor plans / Drawings / Diagrams
About Studio H:T - Tomecek Studio

AIA Colorado Citation Award

DesignStudio H:T (Tomecek Studio)
LocationNederland, Colorado
Containers2 x 40 ft
Area1500 square foot
PhotographyBraden Gunem

Interior of this 2 bedroom off-the-grid shipping container home provides cozy living space, in combination with beautiful mountain view this make the container house a very comfortable retreat place. Various green technologies were used in the project: solar water heating, passive cooling, pellet stove heating, green roof and others.

The main living area includes two 40 ft shipping container units that saddlebag a wedge shaped space. The shipping containers hold the function of office, bedrooms, kitchen, bath and laundry while the center space is used for living, dining and entry. The upper floor space is an open loft with a movable platform bed that can slide on tracks outdoors allowing to enjoy the beauty of starry sky at night and as a reference to the quintessential camping experience.