20 ft Shipping Container Home with Space-Saving Furniture

Space-saving furniture
Floor plans
Construction process
About Bernardo Horta Arquiteto
About Cont.Loc

ProjectCasulo studio
ArchitectureBernardo Horta Arquiteto, Meius Arquitetura (Guilherme Jose and Giulianno Camatta) and Pedro Lodi
Area15 sq m (160 sq ft)
ContainersOne 20 ft
PhotographyJomar Braganca
LocationBelo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

Description by architects

Concept: The Casulo studio is a changeable space, included in a 20 ft shipping container, where we want to demonstrate how flexible inhabiting can be today. With this, the project allows different “faces” from the same fixed furniture. What we want is a space that is palpable and lived by the user, a space that can be touched and unfolded, not just with a simple look, but with individual curiosity. We imagine an interactive and living place. The idea is that through simple systems new layouts are established providing the use of the environment for different activities. From a living space, a barbershop or even a small residence.

Construction: With the emergence of new construction technologies, the container appears as a new alternative. Basically, its structure is composed of a 20 ft shipping container, which, without proper work, is a dark and unventilated environment. The customization of containers is relatively fast, and many companies make projects aimed at commerce, homes and offices, as it is a construction system that is easy to expand, through a modular system of units that significantly expands the structures.

01. At first, the container underwent a general customization, opening cuts in its walls to make the space more airy. At that time, thermal and acoustic insulation was also carried out using glass wool (recyclable pet), which are placed in the form of a sandwich, between the structure and wooden boards. In these spans, a passage is created for the placement of electrical tubes and hydro-sanitary pipes.
02. The other stage consisted of the internal division of the environment, creating the bathroom and possible programmatic areas. To make the use of space in a more versatile and adaptable way, a changeable piece of space-saving furniture (containing several functions) was designed. That furniture would be formed according to the user's need.

Materials and solutions: An alternating mesh of pallets was used to cover the deck. The pallet is a wooden platform used for moving materials in large quantities. In addition to being more economical than common wood, pallets can be assembled and disassembled as needed and, in the event of a change, all the material can be reused. The choice of the ferrule coating was due to the low cost of this material and the ease of installation. The ferrule plate is produced by gluing thin layers (leaves) of wood. The material has high potential for forest management, due to its rapid growth and abundance of regeneration. The PET Wool used on the walls is an ecologically correct thermal and acoustic insulator, coming from recycled material. Sustainability is its biggest advantage, since it is produced from recycled PET bottles, without the addition of resins, without the use of water or carbon emissions during the process. For the landscaping of the environment, we chose to use only native vegetation. The use of native vegetation brings numerous advantages, and it is important to highlight the suitability of these plants to our climate, their resistance to possible pest attacks and also contribute to the diversification of fauna (being food for local animals).

Space-saving furniture 3D design

Space-saving furniture: Contemporary homes demand adaptable work and living environments. The space-saving furniture offers a wide range of systems and uses. All systems shown below can be adapted.

01. Removable Boxes/Drawers: Perfect for keeping files and the entire volume of material in order. Good distribution, easy removal and internal customization are features of this item.
02 Removable Table: From the choice to the user to be mounted in several places, allowing simultaneous use with the folding table or used anywhere else. When not in use, the table can be fitted to the rest of the cabinet body.
03. Folding Table: We developed an opening system where it would be possible to mount a small work or dining table. The table system is simple and can be easily unfolded in/out of the cabinet.
04. Countertop: The countertop enables various types of use. To complement a complete house, the ideal for this space would be the installation of a cooktop.
05. Cabinet: The open door cabinet below the countertop can house other possibilities, such as a fridge, a wine bar, and even an auxiliary cabinet with casters.
06. Drawer / Shelf: This part slides out of the closet and becomes a kind of showcase and shelf.
07. Built-in bed: It was developed so that it can be easily lifted and built into the closet. Therefore, when it is not open, the bed space can be occupied by another activity.

Floor plans

Construction process

About Bernardo Horta Arquiteto

Architectural firm in Belo Horizonte, founded in 2014, seeks to produce ideas and projects that can translate and materialize clients' dreams and that are inspiring to other people. The work developed has been recognized over the years, being awarded in competitions in addition to having projects published in newspapers, magazines and websites of the segment. The portfolio covers projects in the areas of Residential, Institutional, Commercial and Mixed-Use.

AddressRua Maranhão 904 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
Phone+55 31 99802-9878

About Cont.Loc

Based on the proposal of the 3R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Cont.Loc is a modern and visionary company that offers the construction market the possibility of faster, more creative and sustainable projects. This becomes possible through the reduction of materials and debris, the time required to carry out projects, and lower investment values than conventional works.


Sustainability, Innovation and Practicality are the values with which Cont.Loc works. Operating in the market since 2015, the company already has important partners and customers in the expansion of this initiative.

Cont.Loc has solutions for different types of establishments, such as accommodation, offices, bars, shops, homes and personalized spaces. With less need for investment in fixed assets, and considerable reduction in finishing time, the customization of containers becomes an excellent alternative to traditional construction models. More than an option, customization is often necessary depending on the location, safety, time and deadline involved in the work in question.

In addition to economy, versatility and mobility, projects using containers offer a creative and sustainable alternative as they are based on the reuse of maritime containers. More than a form of civil construction, it is a social initiative.


- Container - Customization (Material & Labor) - Freight - unloading - Finishing - Coating


The foundation will depend on the terrain and the customer's preference, since the container does not need a single base, but four structural points at the ends, which allows flexibility in relation to the types of terrain.


First, it is necessary to verify the situation of the land and adequacy of the structural columns, if necessary. Then, it is necessary to confirm the physical availability for unloading and moving the same, which is done with a trailer (freight), Munck and/or crane.


The necessary electrical and hydraulic installations are built-in and can be covered with different materials such as Drywall, MDF, PVC or OSB.


Coatings are necessary according to the purpose of customization and the need for insulation. It is coating for the lining, walls and floor of the container. There are several types of materials commonly used, but we only work with insulation using pet wool, which is a safer, higher quality and sustainable material. The finishing is done using Drywall, MDF, PVC, OSB, vinyl floors, aluminum, ceramic, rubber or laminate floors.

Documentation required

The same permits and licenses common to masonry projects.

AddressAlameda Oscar Niemeyer, 202 - sala a - Vale do Sereno, Nova Lima - MG, 34006-049, Brazil
Phone+55 31 98421-9900

20 ft Shipping Container Home with Space-Saving Furniture