Modular Shipping Container Home on Steep Slope, Marin, California

Taking advantage of the natural topography this modular 2 bed shipping container home has a series of connected roof decks with commanding views. The pier foundation have minimal impact on the site and recycled shipping containers with a prefabricated interior, considerably reduces construction time and cost as well as reducing the carbon footprint to a dot.

Floor Plans / Drawings
About Studio KfA

ProjectMarin Metal
DesignStudio KfA
Area1440 sq ft
ContainersEight 20 ft
LocationMill Valley, Marin County, California

This private residence is set within a steep wooded site in Marin California commuting distance from San Francisco. Driven as a response to ever-increasing construction costs and lengthening time schedules in the heated market of the Bay Area; this house exploits the proven concept of recycled shipping containers as a fast, effective and cheap alternative to traditional house building. Prefabricated then installed on-site within days.

A pair of shipping containers measuring 20x8 feet are set parallel to each other with a 4-foot infill space between them forming a 20x20 foot space. These arrangements allows for the minimal intervention and cutting of the container and standard repetitive glazing units. Complete sides, either one or two are removed allowing for large floor-to-ceiling glazing along the long edge; as in the kitchen dining and the main living space. Alternatively, simply one shorter end is removed; the doors being replaced with glazing as in the lower bedrooms.

In total eight 20x8 ft containers are arranged in this manner stacked and rotated 90 deg. to form this flexible 2 bedroom modular shipping container home on steep slope with 1440 sqft of internal space. In this layout, the lower floor contains the bedrooms, bathrooms, mechanical, and storage. The connecting stairs occupying the 4ft between the containers. Above this, the entrance, loggia, and main living area is an open space that spreads the full length of the building. The centrally located stacked stair connects up again to the dining and kitchen areas and the first of two large roof terraces.

A cohesive elegant functioning modern home on steep slope. The luxurious results are often unassociated with such building techniques.

In addition to the roof terraces there is a semi enclosed balcony; a flexible option car port if you open the doors at the front. The balcony connects through to the main living space.

Floor Plans / Drawings

Simple 2 bed modular shipping container home plan composed of 8 shipping containers in total. 2 side by side with a 4’ gap resulting in a 20’x20’ grid, repeat rotate stack.

About Studio KfA

Studio KfA is a husband and wife led boutique practice based in California specializing in high-end custom residential buildings. The practice is a rare combination holding licenses in both Architecture and Structural Engineering.

Our philosophy is based on the premise that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - less but better, and our designs reflect this clarity.

We are driven by the pursuit of quality —a belief that the quality of our surroundings directly influences the quality of our lives, whether in the work place, at home or the wide variety of public spaces in between.

We believe the best architecture comes from a synthesis of all the elements that separately comprise and inform the character of a building: -

The structure that holds it up. The services that allow it to function. Its ecology; the quality of natural light; the symbolism of the form; the relationship of the building to the skyline, the street, landscape, site environs, and the way you move through or around it. The materiality of the built form in all its tactile qualities. And last but not least its ability to elevate the senses and lift the spirit.

We believe that by working together creatively from start to finish on each project here at SKfA, the Architect and Engineer combine their knowledge to devise sustainable, integrated and highly creative solutions. The results look beyond mere style to find beauty, functionality and clarity in the designs.

We offers a bespoke turn key experience, providing integrated professional solutions in:

  • Architecture
  • Structural Engineering
  • Interior Design
  • Feasibility Study
  • Master Planning

Edmund Klimek


Meisterschule, Stadelschule Frankfurt, Germany 1997
AA Dipl, Architectural Association London, UK 1988
BSc, Dundee University Dundee, Scotland 1985


Principal, Perkins + Will, San Francisco 2015 - 2018
Adjunct Professor NJIT
Principal, Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, New York 2014
Global Design Leader, Woods Bagot, New York 2010-13
Senior Architect, Santiago Calatrava, New York 2009-10
Associate Partner, Foster + Partners, London and New York 1998-2009
Foster + Partners, Frankfurt, Germany 1994-96
Shin Takamatsu, Kyoto, Japan 1991-92
GMW, London, UK 1988-91

Erica Freeman


Masters of Civil Engineering, Structures, Columbia University, New York 2014. PE.
Bachelors of Architecture, Cum Laude, NJIT 2004, RA. AIA.
Certified Building Official


San Anselmo, CA. Building Official 2018 - present
Turbin Structural Engineering, Mill Valley, CA. 2017 - 2018
KPFF Engineers, San Francisco, CA. 2015 - 2017
Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, New York NY. 2009-11
Foster + Partners Architects, London, UK. 2007-09
Rafael Vinoly Architects, New York, NY 2006-07
Allen + Killcoyne Architects, New York, NY. 2004-06

Phone+1 631-329-2983

Modular Shipping Container Home on Steep Slope, Marin, California