The next time you are wedged between a couple of transport trucks on the QEW, pause and think about me. Whatever could this have to do with me you may be wondering. Well, let me enlighten you. Those large metal boxes they are hauling, better known as containers are being re-purposed in the coolest way these days. Container houses. Yup, those big ugly metal rectangles are being welded together, stacked in a myriad of configurations and turned into really awesome modern homes.
Don't believe me? Google "container houses" and take a look for yourself. Some are being used for guest houses while others as the owner's main residences, you name it, you can create whatever space you need from them. Some are simple, some far more elaborate and the sky is the limit really in terms of how you "build" your castle. Think giant lego pieces. Cut out some windows and doors, vary the levels, play with the angles and finish the interiors to the extent you prefer. You can go with a very basic industrial interior, or finish the walls and floors as you would any framed home.
The idea is really appealing to me the more research I do. There are costs involved, but in the end it is far less expensive than a typical new build home and the aesthetic is unique and current. Talk about a dramatic shift in style for me. I have always had an appreciation for modern design but it has only been in recent years that I have sensed myself moving toward this way of living and the more I see the many possibilities, the more exciting it gets. In many ways it would be the ultimate art project. The chance to really turn seemingly useless scraps of metal and wood into functional, possibly even beautiful elements in my home. One home I looked at started their entire build around a smooth bark free tree, incorporating wiring and lighting into the branches that spread across the span of the house - a central pillar creating the home's organic identity. It was functional art at it's best.
This design (pictured above) is fairly simplistic. I love the linear feel and the open and airy space created with the addition of glass. The orange exterior walls are likely the original container colours but that can be customized in any case. The single container guest house at the top of this page would be a really simple project and could also be used as a pool-side cabana.
There is a really great container home designed by Debbie Glassberg. Google her place and check it out. It is one of the best I have seen in terms of how she really stuck to the long narrow spaces for the various rooms - obviously a galley kitchen is necessary and I love the way she floated the bed in the middle of the master bedroom. See below.
The exterior and landscaping pull it all together. Who knew shipping containers could look like this?
This drawing below of the original vision illustrates that anything is possible with a bit of imagination and thinking outside the box. Or I guess that should read thinking outside AND inside the box. Even Starbucks has got in on the trend opening a container location in Tukwila, Washington in December 2011.
I really do encourage you to surf around and take a peak at the amazing ideas out there. It kinda puts a whole new spin on "special delivery".
Starbucks Container cafe, Tukwila, Wa.