Affordable housing ideas—shipping container homes

James Rippon James Rippon
Nemo House, Container Residence thinkTREE Architects and Partners Modern houses
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The idea of a shipping container home is not a new one, but recently a trend towards affordable homes that are not only easy on the pocket but also easy on the eye has been seen. Once upon a time living in a cheap home meant living in a tacky and tasteless home, but today, this simply is not the case. This trend has proven popular the world over, and Korea is no exception. This beautiful example of an affordable housing solution showcases why a shipping container home may be a viable option for you and your family.

Optical illusions

A design of Thinktree Architects, the lush natural surroundings sets the backdrop for the striking red and white exterior of the house. The perception of the home is distorted when viewed from a distance thanks to the silhouette of a classic gabled house painted on the facade.

True colours

As we approach the home the appearance of a conventional house dissolves and the building shows its true face. Now, recognising this home as being built from containers is clearly evident. Common  containers were used in this new build, which are a standard 12 metres by 2.3 metres. The modular form of containers means the design opportunities for a container home are only limited by the designer's imagination. They are easy to obtain, and best of all, are cheap! These 3 key points mean those looking to build their dream home on a budget could well be achieved by opting to use old shipping containers to their advantage.

The layout

This image which breaks down the exact structure and layout of the home gives us a better understanding of how it has been put together. The home started as four containers, which have been arranged in a unique way. Three modules sit side-by-side to make the ground floor, whilst the fourth container sits above the middle container on the lower level. This middle container has been modified to be slightly smaller, so as to allow for the upper level to overhang to create a small protected entrance area.

Ingenious design

When viewed from inside, it is impossible to tell that the skeleton of this house was once used to transport goods all over the world on cargo ships. The design is sleek and smart, and is sure to become a beautiful home once decorated and furnished. By building the stairs in the centre of the design to greet the owners as they enter through the front door, a number of desires have been met. A subtle division between the functions of each space of the open plan design has been achieved, without losing the easy flow of light. A shelving unit has been constructed on the living room side, which extends from the floor of the lower level almost to the roof of the upper level. Almost the entire side of the far container has been replaced by floor-to-ceiling glass, allowing light to flood the space.


As we move upstairs we are greeted by the shelf the lines one side of the staircase, and are offered our first view of the upstairs bedroom.  Again, who could have ever guessed this as being a container!?

The bedroom

The view of the natural landscape from the modern bedroom is incredible, and has been taken full advantage of thanks to the introduction of large glass windows. A small balcony has also been added, to allow for a strong connection to the outdoors for the occupants. 

For more affordable housing options for you and your family, take a look at this neat home to-go.

Could you envision your family living in a shipping container house? Let us know your thoughts below!

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