Prefab Modular Two 40' HC and Two 20' HC Shipping Containers Home, Spain

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






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

Architect: Francisco Javier Carmona Ruiz, Tercera Piel Arquitectura
Area: 92.54 square meters on the ground floor + 2,753 square meters of land
Containers: 2x40' HC and 2x20' HC
Builder: Construcciones y Contratas Cabello S.L.
Who lives here: Marta, Alvaro and their son Carlos
Location: Cordoba, Spain

Located in a beautiful Cordoba, this two 40 ft HC and two 20 ft HC 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 house 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 house 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 house 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 house 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".



Description from architects

Working with building elements of 20' and 40' long and 8' wide for us as architects was a challenge, if those elements also came from waste from other industries and involved recycling and minimizing emissions in manufacturing of the structures of the buildings that became obsession. That is the line of work that we follow in many of our proposals and in this in particular, something that begins to have a market in a society increasingly aware of the environment. On the other hand, the proposal serves as a prototype and test laboratory of systems, materials and constructive solutions, to work on architecture as a process is one of the added values that the proposal has for us, to return to those origins in which the difference between architecture and construction was not easy. It is an extension of a house in a plot in the purest style of the Anglo-Saxon tradition of  poolhouse. For its development two containers 40' HC and two 20' HC are used, volumetrically a separation is made that is solved by means of a self-supporting structure. We have sought a clear and simple volumetry in the first place by not masking the element that serves as the basis for the proposal and secondly by not generating encounters that suppose an added cost in its execution. The proposal houses a lounge, distributor, two bedrooms and two bathrooms on the ground floor. The living room is conceived with a double height and it is installed a loft that will be used as an office. From this area you access the part of the roof that is projected as passable. In our different studies and proposals of containers, the visible or hidden skin conditions the use of a constructive system or another. For the skin seen as it is the case that concerns us is used (from outside to inside) exterior treatment from white ceramic paint that allows a cooler wall, an important condition in this case for the high summer temperatures that are reached in the area in summer, the container wall itself, air chamber, multi-reflector sheet for thermal insulation, mineral wool for acoustic insulation and a gypsum cardboard backing system. For the non-passable roof, acoustic and multi-reflective insulation plasterboard is used on the inside and a reinforcement steel mesh, expanded polystyrene, waterproofing sheet and gravel finish are applied on the outside. The walkable roof uses a similar base with a finish by means of a ceramic tile solution. The double height floor slab is not completely dismantled but the panel and part of the base beams are eliminated to avoid the twisting that occurs in the containers during assembly-disassembly. The foundation is made by means of a hearth that protrudes 5 cm from the natural terrain and on which the containers are directly supported, this solution more than properly as a foundation is intended for the defense of the different agents of the land that could affect the deterioration of the materials used. They are used in the vertical hollow facades that respond to the aforementioned necessity of the transport since the cuts that are made in the hollows of the containers are reinforced by means of steel frames that structurally replace the eliminated section, the same system is used for the area of the holes in the doors of the containers. Working with this type of container architecture allows us on the one hand the work in the workshop and on the other the reduction in costs derived from industrialization without being at odds with a suggestive architectural design and the reuse of containers that are no longer suitable for maritime transport but that we understand is a valuable element from the architectural and constructive point of view to give solution to certain situations.

Description from owners

Istanbul, Cape Town, Panama, Sao Paulo, Hamburg, Algeciras ... these are some of the port cities for which this peculiar home has traveled before becoming the home of Marta, Alvaro and their son Carlos.

We are not yet used to dwellings of this type, but for many it may be an option more than suitable when considering building a house, both in economic terms and because of its highly versatile condition. Made from four independent containers, Marta, the owner, tells us that for her and her husband, this was the best alternative for a period in which they still did not know how they wanted their definitive home to be.

The idea arose from the possibility of using land available to her parents, along with what is her home. Closeness that convinced them when choosing this location in which to live and believe, since they wanted their house to be able to change as their own family did, also counting on the possibility of transferring it from present location in the future, either by the need to expand its living space, or turn it into a second residence, as a summer home.





After conducting numerous researches on the Internet and learning about the characteristics of all types of mobile homes, they made sure that this was the system by which they wanted to build their home. It is sustainable housing built using four shipping containers with "eco friendly" practice, equipped with solar panel and annexed garden, besides being totally isolated from the outside.

Built by the company FuturEVO inside an industrial facility in just two months, moving the prefab home to its current location and reassembling it, was a task that lasted less than a week. Factors that show the adaptability of this type of housing, created from recycled containers. Shipping containers were acquired second hand in the port of Algeciras, which was their previous destination before becoming the modular home.

Owners keep to remember the registration info of the containers so as not to forget the places for which the one that is now their home, they traveled, circulating in cities such as Istanbul, Cape Town, Panama, Sao Paulo or Hamburg.

The aesthetics achieved in the interior of the shipping container home, is an example of the comforts and comfort levels that can be achieved in a house of these characteristics, equating to any conventional home. The ground floor, formed by two central containers, houses the kitchen and the living room. In the same way, on this same floor we find the bedrooms as well as the corridor that gives access to the house, the latter mounted from the sheets that were cut during the construction process.

The entrance door stands out, acquired in an Andujar antiquarian, which was recovered after the demolition of the church to which it belonged. Martha tells us that her interest in antiques has been inherited from her family. Her parents spent many years looking for all kinds of doors in different antique dealers in Spain and then used them for the different rooms of their own home.

The warmth perceptible in all rooms, is largely achieved by the presence of wooden floors, dealing with the floors that housed the containers when purchased. On the other hand, in the bedrooms and bathrooms, where the floor was more damaged, it was decided to cover with white wooden boards, "total white" that has been counteracted with elements in wood, textiles and a lot of natural light coming from the large windows that visually extend the house to the garden.

The office, a space created for leisure and creativity, is presented as a pleasant place to read or work, where many antique pieces have been used for decoration, such as the ceiling lamp, the old leather suitcase as well as the wooden chest of drawers, recovered from an old haberdashery and where today, they store all the materials of crafts and drawing.





The bank that they themselves have created in a rudimentary way from reclaimed marble pieces, supposes an original support that fulfills the functions of a storage system.

In the bedroom of his son Carlos, there is a white painted wardrobe from when the great-grandmother of the little one was just a girl. Decorated all the soft under-nalidades, highlight the framed photographs on the wall, taken in a photo session by Petit Foto, after his birth.

The bathroom, despite having a very simple line of furniture, has been decorated with great charm, using a recovered mirror that lets you appreciate the patina of time in its glass. In the same way, it has also made use of other old reused pieces, such as the shelf created from a wooden plank, found in an abandoned town of Soria, or the towel rack, which is actually treated, of the knocker of an old door.

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Shipping Container Home 3D Rendering














Shipping Container Home Floor Plans and Sections












About Tercera Piel Arquitectura


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Prefab Modular Two 40' HC and Two 20' HC Shipping Containers Home, Spain