Prefab Modular 2x40' HC + 2x20' HC 2 Bedroom Shipping Containers Home, Spain

Sustainability, personalization and comfort are some of the key points of this project: a 2 bedroom shipping container home, with Andalusian flair, of a young family.

Description from architects
Description from owners
3D Rendering
Floor plans
About Tercera Piel Arquitectura

ArchitectFrancisco Javier Carmona Ruiz, Tercera Piel Arquitectura
Containers2x40' HC + 2x20' HC
Build time2 month
Assemble time1 week
BuilderConstrucciones y Contratas Cabello S.L.
Area92.54 sqm on the ground floor
Land area2,753 sqm
Who lives hereMarta, Alvaro and their son Carlos
LocationCordoba, Spain

Located in a beautiful Cordoba, this two 40 ft HC and two 20 ft HC 2 bedroom shipping containers home in Spain is a functional and sustainable home that can grow and evolve with the family and that, in the future, and if necessary, can move to another location.

Those were, among others, the reasons that led Marta and Alvaro to decide on a construction from recycled shipping containers. "Working with containers allows us, on the one hand, the work in the workshop and, on the other, to lower the costs derived from industrialization without this being at odds with a suggestive architectural design. In addition, we reuse parts that are no longer suitable for maritime transport, but which are a valuable element from the architectural and constructive point of view to give solution to certain situations," say architects from Tercera Piel Arquitectura.

Composed of four sea shipping containers - two containers 40' HC and two 20' HC, the prefab modular 2 bedroom shipping container home is arranged on a floor that protrudes 5 cm from the natural terrain and on which the containers are directly supported.

"We have looked for a clear and simple volumetry. In addition to not hiding the containers we tried not to generate encounters that supposed an added cost in the execution ", explains Francisco Carmona.

The  prefab modular shipping container home consists of a living room connected to the kitchen and two bedrooms with their respective bathrooms, all arranged on the ground floor.

The living area has been designed to double height to give a greater sense of spaciousness both to this space and to the office arranged as a loft above the kitchen and that opens onto it.

This area of  the study, which is accessed by a light metal staircase, is also leading to the roof projected as a terrace and arranged over the bedrooms on the ground floor.

The double-height floor slab has not been totally disassembled, but the panel and part of the beams at the base of the container are eliminated to avoid the twisting that occurs during assembly and disassembly. In addition, these also offer a practical solution for the lighting in the room.

Also the excess sheets that were accumulated throughout the construction process find a practical use. Here they have served to create the distributor of access to housing. Arranged next to the kitchen, the contrast between the recovered old door from the demolition of an old church with the metal sheet of the containers that has been preserved as a separation in this area draws attention in this space. The rest of interior finishes has been made in plasterboard panels.

The kitchen, a clear and functional space, opens into the adjoining room through a large window. The window can be opened or closed by an ingenious system of pulleys. In this way, despite maintaining eye contact at all times, you can prevent the passage of smoke and odors to the rest of the modular shipping container home when necessary.

The wide bar that connects the kitchen with the living room, with an envelope flown towards both rooms, can also function as an improvised dining table when necessary, thanks to its great capacity and the fact that it has seats on both sides.

The wooden floors, the originals of the containers, treated to give them their current decorative finish, confer a note of warmth to the environments, of eclectic atmosphere thanks to the mixture of old pieces with others of contemporary design. Without forgetting elements of an industrial nature, such as stools in the kitchen or standing lights that are used as ambient lighting.

The numerous openings to the exterior contribute natural light to the house, designed according to sustainability criteria.

"In our different studies and proposals for containers, for the visible or hidden skin conditions  we used one constructive system or another. For the visible skin, as it is the case that concerns us, it is used (from outside to inside): exterior treatment from white ceramic paint that allows a cooler wall - an important condition in this case due to the high summer temperatures in the area, the container wall itself, air chamber, multi-reflector sheet for thermal insulation, mineral wool for acoustic insulation and a gypsum cardboard backing system", explains Francisco Carmona.

For the non-passable roof, acoustic and multi-reflective insulation plasterboard and, on the outside, a steel reinforcement mesh, expanded polystyrene, waterproofing sheet and gravel finish have been used. The walkable roof uses a similar base, with an easy maintenance ceramic tile finish.

The mixture of recovered elements - like the pallet that houses the doormat at the entrance of the house - with old and unique pieces, the result of the owners' passion for antiques, is a constant throughout this project.

The prefab modular shipping container home is developed mainly on the ground floor, composed of the two largest containers, which houses the living room, kitchen and two bedrooms with bathrooms, all of them with direct access to the outside. On the upper level, a study has been located through which you can access the roof terrace, arranged over the sleeping area.

"This project has the added value of serving as a prototype and laboratory for testing systems, materials and constructive solutions," architects from Tercera Piel Arquitectura say, to add an interesting reflection: "working architecture as a process is one of the added values that for us in this project; return to those origins in which the difference between architecture and construction was not easy".