Containers of Hope — San Jose, Costa Rica
What can be accomplished with a $40,000 budget to create a livable small home? It turns out, more than you’d expect when working with shipping containers. Architect Benjamin Garcia Saxe accomplished this feat working closely with his clients to design their 1,000 square-foot house just outside of San Jose, Costa Rica. The structure is made of two 40-foot shipping containers connected by a raised midsection and windows that let in light and let out hot air. With numerous glass walls it offers spectacular views of its rural setting — and the clients were even able to construct the building themselves.
Built for affordability and comfort, the shipping container home costs less than normal social housing costs in Costa Rica. Its temperature-focused design — ideal for a tropical climate — along with its creative use of discarded material, makes the Containers of Hope a possible means of alternative housing, serving as a reflection of the project’s name.
Container Guest House — San Antonio, Texas
Built by national award-winning firm Poteet Architects, the Container Guest House in San Antonio, Texas, was founded on the concept of sustainability. The simple structure sits on a foundation of recycled telephone poles, and bamboo plywood furnishes its walls and floors. Serving form and function, the guesthouse is topped with a rooftop garden that keeps the space cooler and is irrigated by grey water from the sink and shower. The back of the structure is covered with evergreen vines, and it also features a composting toilet and a deck made of recycled soda bottles. The home’s environmentally friendly design has earned it recognition from the Architizer A+ Awards and AIA San Antonio.
2+ Weekend House — Trebnje, Slovenia
In response to escalating real estate prices, Slovenian architecture firm Jure Kotnik designed the 2+ Weekend House as a small and affordable housing solution. Composed of two containers stacked perpendicular to each other, the home allows for additional shipping containers to be added or removed, depending on the number of residents. The simple yet bold black exterior covered by bright pink dots serves as one tailored option that reflects the house’s customizable nature.
Crossbox House — Brittany, France
Crossbox House takes its name from its literal cross shape. CG Architectes designed the striking lime green and dark grey cantilevered home for a family in the small town of Pont-Péan in Brittany, France. Made from four stacked shipping containers — two per floor — its cozy and bright 1,119 square feet comprise three bedrooms, a kitchen, a spacious living room and two bathrooms.
The exposed rooftops of the lower containers have been planted with gardens, while the overhanging upper containers serve as a carport and covered entrance. Much like the other homes above, its sleek yet cozy modular design shows how shipping containers can be reused for comfortable residential living.
Written by Tracy Stefanucci
Headline image of the Container Guest House in San Antonio, Texas, by Chris Cooper