The actual containers used in this home are concealed behind the duplex, and mirror each other, just as the duplex units mirror each other with two bedrooms and three bathrooms. Similarly to designer Patrice Rios’ own container, these function as either an office or guesthouse. Neither contains a bathroom, but there’s easy access to one on the first floor of each unit. Rios is currently designing another duplex in the city that will incorporate shipping containers inside the home.
Six Oaks can be found deep in the woods of Felton, California (not far from Santa Cruz). It’s built in a former railway area surrounded by redwood trees, although you’ll be glad to know only two redwoods were cut down to accommodate the home, and those were used for interior elements such as the stairs. Architecture and design firm Modulus created Six Oaks by stacking six shipping containers as a way to maximize light, views and airflow throughout the 1,200-square-foot space. Skylights, a bridge and private outdoor shower are other standout features in a home that’s otherwise intended to blend into its surroundings.
Designer Patrice Rios of Sige&Honey specializes in customizing shipping containers. Her first foray involved adding a shipping container office to her backyard in Austin. But she’s become associated with building a duplex elsewhere in the city that contains two containers behind it. The duplex itself is designed to look like a container (pictured), complete with a boxy shape and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Even shipping container homes are bigger in Texas. Called PV14 House, since it uses 14 shipping containers, this Dallas home from M Gooden Design is one of the largest at 3,700 square feet. This home contains three bedrooms, a den, entertainment area, three-and-a-half bathrooms and a two-car garage. There’s also a small penthouse and a large roof deck. A glass-fronted second floor, complete with a full-length balcony, maximizes prime views of a lake and park across the way.
For many, a mega-mansion represents the ideal dream home, but for Mike and Shawn McConkey, a shipping container was their ideal. The McConkey Residence, designed by OBR Architecture, is one of San Diego’s first shipping container homes. Three containers form 800 square feet of living space, and floor-to-ceiling windows make the open-air design feel even larger. A retractable garage door next to the kitchen is another thoughtful element (and perfect for those times when the stove gets a bit too smoky). Speaking of smoke, the windows and roof incorporate flame-retardant materials in the event of wildfires.
The Redondo Beach House in Southern California consists of eight shipping containers along with traditional stick frame construction. Designed by Peter DeMaria of DeMaria Design, the result is a four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath that maintains its original corrugated steel walls and wood floors. Airplane hangar doors are a major standout element, and redefine bringing the outdoors in. If you’re a fan of shipping containers but can’t afford an architect, DeMaria also operates Logical Homes, a reasonably priced line of pre-fabricated container homes.