Shipping container guest house

Storage containers for sale are being plucked up every day now as people begin to see the positives of utilizing these resources for other purposes.  Most notably, using them as homes.  Shipping containers may not save the world, but they are going to leave a lasting impact on the minds of people as we continue to think of innovative ways to save each other. This Container Guest House was designed by Poteet Architects, a national award-winning firm best known for their sensitive adaptive reuse of existing buildings and a fresh, rigorous approach to modern interior design.

This project originated from Poteet Architects client’s wish to experiment with shipping containers. She lives in a small warehouse on a former industrial site just south of downtown San Antonio, Texas. The finished project serves as a 320 square foot guesthouse and is fitted with a shower/water closet and a custom stainless sink. The large steel and glass lift/slide and end window wall open the interior to the surrounding landscape. The remainder of the interior is used as a garden shed.

The emphasis was on sustainable strategies first, the recycling of a “one-way” container for a new and permanent use. The planted roof is held off the container top, providing shade and air-flow to reduce heat gain. The interior is insulated with spray foam then lined with bamboo plywood, equally appropriate for the floor as the walls. The grey water from the sink and shower is captured for roof irrigation. The water closet is a composting toilet. The rear of the container is screened by wire mesh panels which will eventually be covered in evergreen vines.

Other innovative material choices informed the design: the container “floats” on a foundation of recycled telephone poles. The deck is made up of HVAC equipment pads (made of recycled soda bottles) set in a steel frame. The exterior light fixtures are blades from a tractor disc plow, a common sight in south Texas.

Photos: Chris Cooper

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12 years ago

I would like to bookmark this page so i can come here to read you again, as you have done a wonderful job.

12 years ago

Beautiful use of the container. The large glass spaces really open the space up. A full bath and this becomes an apartment.

12 years ago

I love shipping container architecture! This guest house is one of the coolest I’ve seen. Love the colors, the style, everything. Thanks for sharing.