Casa RDP - Shipping Container Industrial Style House, Ecuador

Construction Process
Floor plans / Drawings
About Daniel Moreno Flores
About Sebastian Calero

ProjectCasa RDP
ArchitectsSebastian Calero, Daniel Moreno Flores
Area251.75 m²
Exterior Area123.55 m²
Containersseven 20-foot shipping containers and one 40-foot shipping container
PhotographsLorena Darquea Schettini
Structural DesignJorge Vintimilla, Elvis Escudero (Collaborator)
ConstructorEsteban Romo
PlatformsIván Cevallos, Víctor Sánchez, Leoncio Lanche
CollaboratorsLuis Fernando Taco, Roberto Alban, Gustavo Aguirre, Mateo Torres, Santiago Egas,
Gabriela Loaiza, José López, Tatiana Chávez, Lucia Gómez
ElectricRodrigo Tipan
PlumbingFernando Heredia
sq m cost$542 usd
Total Cost$170,000 usd

Description by architects

The projects we do correspond to the understanding of all the parts and the singularities of each particular environment. We do not intend to seek predetermined solutions, so the ideas of this shipping container industrial style house are born from the wishes, experiences and ways of living of the clients.

The owner, when he was little, sought to decipher the operation of old clocks. This passion for mechanics later led him to motorcycles and Land Rover cars. He was interested in a very didactic, utilitarian and detachable house (in the understanding of parts such as the mechanics of these vehicles) and that the constructive solutions are visible, regardless of their manufacture. By deciphering this direct connection with metal, the idea and the desire to live in a shipping container industrial style house appeared. One of the main reasons for experimenting with this material was the energy savings it implies, since after their useful life these objects become waste (as there are so many in the world it becomes a problem), by changing their function and livable, not only that it is given a new use but that it is built in a clean way. In the design a simplification work was done where only the necessary parts should exist.

Subsequently, seven 20-foot containers and one 40-foot container arrived in La Morita (Tumbaco) from Guayaquil. These modules were to help assemble a singular house, implanted in a large green area, almost flat, and detached from the mundane noise of the city.

The principles

The shipping containers are imperfect, they keep all their scars as the legacy to their record of blows and history of uses. These objects were conceived as the complementary spaces of the shipping container industrial style house: cellars, bathrooms, closets and kitchen, and they are practically used in their natural state. Thus, the possibility of not making changes to its original structure was raised, and if so, find the responsible justification to intervene. In this way, the modifications made were strategic and strictly linked to lighting, ventilation and linkage criteria between interior and exterior environments.

On the other hand, and in order to show the material essence, the factory paint was removed in the outside (bare metal), while inside, a neutral and sanitary character was maintained, guided by the white color. Later, the floor would be worked, which kept its original wood.

The process

Four stages of construction were planned:

1. Functional spots. Due to a slight variation of levels in the longitudinal section of the terrain, the platforms protrude as little as possible from the highest edge, they are small islands blurred in sight.

2. The second stage was the assembly, alignment and anchoring of the shipping containers on the concrete platforms by means of a mechanical crane. In all cases, the shipping containers rest on the concrete, fly slightly outwards, giving a feeling of balance and weight control. These pieces are distanced from each other in order to create and delimit living spaces and, in turn, constitute the backbone of the shipping container house, on which the roofs sit.

3. The third stage corresponded to the placement and welding of the system of metal beams, which cross from container to container and help to assemble the concrete roof tiles.

4. Finally, the fourth stage, consisted of hanging from the roof, a system of cables and beams, which helped to shape the bedrooms, inside which wood dominates.

This shipping container industrial style house maintains a strong link with the exterior (green area and mountains) and all the spaces between the containers are a kind of material absence, only the imperceptible metal frames with the glass are evident.

Three mechanical systems were designed to transform the use in the spaces, a manual elevator to go up to the second floor, manipulable blinds placed in the bedrooms and a flexible floor in the master bathroom that folds down to make visible and occupy a bathtub. All these solutions are like a game that allows the user to be a participant in an architecture designed for them.

Construction Process


Floor plans / Drawings

About Daniel Moreno Flores

We will work from the reality of space and from its limitations. The existing elements will take on a new meaning, with different scales of intervention, from a minimum portable and moldable unit to reach a passenger compartment. Priority will be given to the reuse of materials, the management of optimized human resources, the simplification and systematization of construction processes.

My starting point is the playful game with self-imposed rules of the game, being the human-environment-object relationship a priority in my bet.

I work from materiality when establishing forms. This system defines both the elements that belong to the set and the combination criteria. Objects and spaces change their characteristics when intervened. And the constructive logic is what contributes with its beauty.

Daniel Moreno Flores is an Architect graduated from the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Arts, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador 2007 and currently Master, in the Master in Advanced Architectural Design (MDAA - FADU - UBA)

Quito City Ornament Award 2013 in category e) Interventions in existing buildings located in protected areas of the Metropolitan District of Quito with the project "AMBULATORY CENTER OF MENTAL HEALTH SAN LAZARO", project with Jorge Andrade.

He obtained the First National Honorable Mention in Rehabilitation and recycling at the XVIII Panamerican Biennial of Quito 2012 with the project designed and built with the name “EL ESTUDIO MIKE”, project with Margarida Marques. He was also the winner of the National Architectural Design Award at the XVIII Panamerican Biennial of Quito 2012, designed and built "CASA LOS ALGARROBOS", a project with José María Sáez.

Winner of the National Gold Medal Award for the Final Degree Project “OFFICE OF CREATIVES, recreational environments in architecture” in the category of Architectural Design at the XVI Panamerican Architecture Biennial of Quito 2008, This project was also selected to participate in the international competition Archiprix Montevideo 2009, world´s best graduation projects.

Second place in the Santiago de Compostela Prize for Urban Cooperation with the Rehabilitation project of the old Fabrica La Victoria - Knowledge Factory FADA PUCE 2007.

AddressAlejandro de Valdez N23-54 y la Gasca, Quito, Ecuador
Phone 1+593 0992607424
Phone 2+593 023211602
Website 1
Website 2

About Sebastián Calero Larrea

Sebastián Calero Larrea (Quito, 1977) is an architect with a degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador and a Master in Advanced Architectural Projects from the Polytechnic School of Madrid. It links independent professional practice with university academic teaching, graphic exploration and urban and rural photography.

Casa RDP - Shipping Container Industrial Style House, Ecuador