It is not unusual for architects to seek unique sources of inspiration and conjure up new design projects based on that. It is hardly uncommon for them to find unusual material to realise their dreams. Frank Llyod Wright would often go to the heart of nature to find ideas for his projects. Modern designers, though, are faced with a very different kind of challenge. They are striving hard to make homes more environment friendly and preserve such elements of nature that are fast vanishing from our urban landscapes.
Architect Antony Brown, founder and principal of Ecosa Institute, made it his life’s mission to equip the next generation of architects and interior designers with such knowledge that will help them plan projects without being a slightest bit offensive to the nature. This container home is a live embodiment of his design philosophy permeated through Ecosa Design, the establishment instrumental in giving shape to many an unusual dream.
The house is built using pre-fabricated shipping containers. It is located in Flagstaff, Arizona and is often considered as the regions first container home. It was part of Coconino County Sustainable Building Program and was completed for occupation in 2010.
This house uses five 40-feet long containers hoisted on pillars and recycled for domestic purposes. This affordable housing project also includes solar photovoltaic panels, energy efficient lighting, facilities of rainwater and snow melting harvesting, other typical permaculture features and a small garden.
The main house follows a criss cross pattern. It is volumetrically segregated into two levels. The open style lower level is occupied by the living room, dining area and kitchen. Understated grey tone sofas and chair occupy the central position. Soy stained concrete floor can be seen decorated with tribal area rugs. Large glass door allow cheerful light in the interior of the container house.
The opposite side of the living room is dedicated to a spacious dining area. Except for the stylish wooden dining table and red chairs the dining area has barely any other object, useful or decorative. The floating steel staircase penetrates this vast space and acts as a functional sculpture. A corner of this room underneath the stair is allocated for kitchen.
The kitchen is fitted with all kinds of modern amenities and elaborate storage units. The faux woody surface gives it a gentle feel. It also offsets the overwhelming grey tone of steel and concrete structure. It is spacious and comfortably made for spending long hours in very hot and cold weather conditions.
The master bedroom is located on the second floor level. Except for a simple cot and artworks hanging from the wall it has hardly any other elements of décor. The steel exterior and windows of this house are made to withstand the wide bridge between summer and winter temperatures. So, in spite of the smallness of size, the bedroom promises cosy and comfy nights.
The en suite bathroom is decorated in the same minimal way. White sanitary fittings, rustic bench and vanity unit adorn the interior of the bathroom. Two striped green panels interrupt the contrast between dark floor and white walls.
A separate 20-feet long block is kept reserved for an artist’s studio. It already occupies a small home office with very basic furniture and same interior features as the rest of the building. Both natural and artificial light can be seen bathing the place with cheerfulness. This part of the building creates a “T” shape with the main house. The area between them is used to build a deck which is decorated with a couple of simple chairs.
The stair, fencing and few other elements of the surroundings are created from the scrapes of the containers that were used to create the building. If you are interested in learning more about such environment friendly designs, then read the story of this modern South Korean home.