This modern weekend retreat with a facade of wood and steel shipping containers is located in Union Pier, Michigan, designed by Fredman Design Group. The retreat is the designers own personal home that she shares with her partner. A blending of traditional and industrial elements, the designer felt inspired to get creative. The architect noted that the shipping containers “offer a streamlined aesthete and industrial vibe, with sustainable attributes and strength.” She mixed the steel with more traditional elements of wood, concrete and glass. The draw to the shipping containers for the designer: they are fireproof, impervious to water and much stronger than traditional building materials.
It took several years to complete this project, as the designer and her project team had to research how to best incorporate the shipping containers into the design. Since more traditional cottages surrounded the area, they went with a hybrid wood and steel facade to not feel out of place. They were confined to the size constraints of the containers, so they really had to get creative. Shipping containers come in two lengths and two heights, giving the designers some room to work with. To create long sight lines and soaring ceilings, three containers were grouped together in two different areas of the home. Walls were taken off, tops torn off and twenty-foot high ceilings were added with clerestory windows.
On the inside you will find robust concrete walls, burnished cedar beams and custom oak cabinetry. The beauty of these materials gives the living spaces definition, character and storage and seating options. Since the home is small, there need to be plenty of space to keep things tucked away. Flooring consists of concrete, along with wide rift-cut oak planks. Artwork and furnishings decorate the home, several pieces were sourced from the designer’s store, Three 50 West. Since the home was complete, it has inspired two more container homes in the area!
What We Love: The mix of materials in this home of industrial and traditional sets the tone perfectly. There are so many unique touches, but we especially love the integration of sustainability. The shipping containers provides a unique vibe, creating authenticity and a personal style. The designer found an artistic moment where she could self-explore in her personal home and did it quite successfully! Readers, what do you think of this home, do you like the integration of shipping containers?
We featured another of the designer’s homes here: Modernist seaside home with spectacular views over La Jolla
In the great room, a cantilevered ledge off the fireplace doubles as a seating nook.
Two shipping containers were stripped of their sides, bases joined together and wooden support columns added. Screens were then integrated to create this beautiful screened-in porch in the image above. The design team also built a guest house with three more shipping containers.
The screen-in porch features a coffee table made from meticulously cut tree branches.
In the master bedroom suite, broad wood floorboards clad the ceiling, adding warmth to a space the couple spends a lot of time in.
Photos: Eric Hausman
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