The Shipping News: Containers as Shelters

The Shipping News: Containers as Shelters
Source: Architizer, Architecture: poteet architects, lp
Source: poteet architects, lp

Recently, I watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi again, and besides being reminded of what a single-minded passion can create through a desire to “improve yourself and elevate your craft,” it also reminded me of how sushi once began as humble street food.

So it is with great pleasure that I see what people are doing, design-wise, with such modest materials as wooden pallets and shipping containers.  These building blocks are inexpensive and in the case of shipping containers, durable. However, it takes a talented architect or designer to turn them into something smart and beautiful.

Source: poteet architects, lp
Source: poteet architects, lp

Lest you think this is a metal box devoid of anything organic,  notice the bamboo plywood paneling inside, and check out the rooftop garden in the photo below.

Unlike traditional homes, a shipping container is easily made waterproof, and roots won’t grow through your ceiling. Sure, you could put your garden in the ground like everyone else, but it’s kind of pretty up top, isn’t it?

Source: poteet architects, lp
Source: poteet architects, lp

In case you’re wondering about the practicalities of such a shelter, it comes equipped with a composting toilet, and grey water from the sink and shower irrigates the garden. The word is recycle, my friends, and that includes the deck (made from soda bottles) and the foundation (telephone poles).

A shipping container, like sushi, at first seems so minimalist, so simple–that it can hardly be improved upon. Yet, it can be done, done well, and done with imagination.

Featured image source: Container City

2 thoughts on “The Shipping News: Containers as Shelters”

  • I’ve always loved small spaces like this. I’ve always dreamed of having a separate, small space in a backyard for an office. In this example, I love the colors. Love those outside lights and the lettering on the side as a reminder of the structures humble beginnings.

    It’s funny…I’ve chatted with friends about big houses vs. little houses and many people I’ve talked to said they felt exposed in small spaces. For me, were I more inclined to worry about safety in my home, big houses always seemed like they were places where monsters and other things could dwell. If a small house is structurally secure, there’s a sense of safety that comes with them, I think.

    Oh! thank you for reminding me that I’ve been wanting to watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi again…

    • That’s interesting! I think I feel safer (and cozier) in a smaller space. Okay, so in Alien, the alien was on both the Nostromo and the escape shuttle! 🙂

      Anyway, I’m with you. I like a small, structurally secure home, and a small, separate office in the backyard is great. I’d love for a commute to be just a few steps!

      I’d love to hear what you think of Jiro Dreams of Sushi!

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