Innovative homes for space-conscious dwellers

60 years ago, the invention of the shipping container revolutionized global transport of goods — but how did these colorful metal crates come to serve as homes? Relatively inexpensive, easily available and inherently strong, shipping containers provide an eco-friendly alternative to materials like brick or cement.

As early as the 1980s they were being lauded as modular structures that could be used to create habitable spaces, but it wasn’t until 2006 that Californian architect Peter DeMaria designed the first shipping container home: the Redondo Beach House. The use of shipping containers was not only celebrated because of the resulting reduction in construction waste, but also because of the materials’ strength and ability to resist termites, fire and mold. Since then, a crop of talented designers have built on the concept, creating residences for stylish, space-conscious dwellers.