Five of the best container homes we’ve ever seen

Ecotech’s retro Mojave Desert container home

nEcotech Design, an architectural firm focussed on creating sustainable eco-homes, built this remarkable steel home and studio in the Mojave Desert in 2011. It was the first home of its kind to be built in the Californian desert and is designed to be a “green machine for living”. Believe it or not, the architects have said that the concept of the home was based on the Toyota Prius, the hybrid car that they believe kick-started a kind of green building revolution.nnAs a 1-bed, 1.5 bathroom home, this shining steel structure is fairly small. Despite this, it’s far from underequipped. With solar shields to protect from the desert sun and a ‘living roof system’ with built-in irrigation providing growing space to a variety of desert plants, this isn’t your standard eco-home.nnThe gleaming steel boxes that make up this container home are the real stars of the show. Acting as a beacon of environmentalism in the arid landscape, they were built and fully-furnished in Los Angeles before being driven for four hours to the desert foundations. Each container was erected by a construction team in just 15 minutes; prefab container homes such as this are incredibly useful for people looking to move around at short notice. Plus, at a cost of only $150 per square foot, you may find that getting your own easy to install eco-home is more achievable than you may think.n

James Whitaker’s clustered container art piece

nIf the shimmering oasis of steel that makes up the Ecotech home in the Mojave isn’t space-age enough for your shipping container home plans, fear not. London-based architect James Whitaker has designed a seriously cutting-edge container home that is currently under construction in Joshua Tree National Park, California.nnThe ‘starburst’ design of this home is not entirely new. In fact, it’s based on an office complex that the architect had previously designed – but never built – in Germany. The unique property will serve as the holiday home for a Los Angeles-based film producer. Nestled in a rural natural park setting, it will act as the perfect escape from the rush of LA.nnWhile not conceived as quite so eco-friendly as many container property builds, Whitaker’s Joshua Tree residence still holds some environmental additions. For instance, cars will be stored beneath a canopy made up of solar panels that ensure that the property remains self-sufficient. As a holiday home for LA’s elite, the property required some privacy. As such, Whitaker has designed the outdoor area of the build to include a hot tub area, sheltered from the harsh sunlight and desert winds of the park – as well as from any prying eyes.n

Puerto Rico’s ‘Containers of Hope’

nOne of our favourite things about container conversions is their price – we think it’s one of the best reasons to run your business from a container! As such, we love seeing container houses making the most of the affordability of those versatile steel boxes. This brings us to the wonderful Containers of Hope project in Puerto Rico.nnBuilt for a cost of only $40,000 and a mere 25-minute drive from the Puerto Rican capital, it proves how cost-effective container homes can be. The containers themselves are filled with natural light, painted an eye-catching orange colour and allow their residents to enjoy the Puerto Rican countryside. With spectacular views from all sides of the property, it may be hard to believe that almost everything making up this beautiful home is recycled material. nnThe roof that connects the property’s two 40-foot containers is made from scrap metal from the cut out windows. This also increases ventilation to the property, negating the need for an air conditioning system.nnPerhaps the best thing about the Containers of Hope – and the aspect of the property that gives it its namesake – is that it is actually cheaper than the social housing offered to Puerto Rico’s poorer citizens. As such, the designers behind the project, Gabriela Calvo and Marco Peralta, hope that container homes could be the key to solving residential property crises affecting developing countries.n

Avant-garde dream home in Missouri

nAn anemone shaped starburst container home in the desert may seem as left field as it gets when it comes to container home design. With that said, this Missouri couples’ home gives the Joshua Tree property a run for its money. Zach and Brie Smithey’s container home is about as unconventional as it gets on the aesthetics front. The untouched corrugated steel of shipping containers sit alongside other boxes modified to have brickwork exteriors. nnThe house itself is blocky and squared off, a clearly container-influenced design. Despite this, it is incredibly unique, unlike any container home we’ve seen before. As Zach is an artist, it’s no surprise that the house is filled with inspiring paintings and sculptures. In fact, during construction of the property, Zach saw it as a large contemporary sculpture in its own right. We can’t disagree with him on that, the house is truly a work of art.nnOnce again, the cost-effectiveness of the property was one of the driving forces behind the Missouri couple choosing containers to build their home. Constructing a two-storey home in a major city only cost the two $130,000, allowing them to live mortgage free in the home of their dreams. That’s certainly something all of us want, so maybe it’s time to look to shipping container conversions to help you achieve those dreams.n

The tiny Texan container guest house

nIt may not be a permanent home but if you’re looking for a chic, eco-friendly guest house Poteet Architects’ cosy container home in San Antonio, Texas should be at the top of your list. The cute guest house may be comprised of only one container, but it has all the amenities that you could require during your stay.nnA luxury touch is lent to the property, with sleek bamboo panelling covering the walls and floors of the container. Bright red splashes of paint add a contemporary feel to the otherwise very natural feel. The natural touches don’t end at the wooden interior, placed in the beautiful green grounds of a converted warehouse, the guest house features vines climbing around the rear of the property. Visitors will also discover a living roof, complete with a variety of beautiful flowers, that adds another dynamic of natural beauty to the build.nnMany container conversions use their eco-friendly nature as a selling point, but the container guest house goes above and beyond. Sustainable materials are used throughout the property. From the container itself to the foundation of recycled telephone poles on which it sits, this guest house makes for an ideal eco-holiday. Even the toilet composts! Almost everything in this guest house has been put together with the environment in mind, so guests can sleep soundly knowing they’re doing their part for the sake of nature.nn nnIf you are interested in starting your own container conversion project, contact Unit Hire today. Our friendly team are here to help you modify containers for your next big idea.

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