With sustainability quickly gaining momentum across the world, architects have been looking into more environmentally conscientious alternatives to building materials. Over the past decade, shipping containers have emerged as a reliable option for building. Since shipping an empty container back to its country of origin is too costly, cargo containers will usually sit along shipping docks and take up space. Taking these otherwise useless containers and transforming them into something exciting and new only makes sense.
In 2006, architect Peter DeMaria designed the first shipping container home in the United States. DeMaria created the two-story building in accordance with the nationally recognized Uniform Building Code.
The Joshua Tree residence is an artful arrangement of shipping containers emulating the appearance of a starburst. The site, which seamlessly blends into the Californian mountainside, was the work of Whitaker Studio, whose founder had come up with the unique design several years before. He had never built it until film producer, Chris Hanley, saw the design and deemed it perfect for his Joshua Tree vacation home.
KTGY Architecture + Planning has revealed its plans for an 85-unit shipping container for the homeless, the very first building of its kind in Los Angeles.
Though unconventional, utilizing shipping containers as building materials produce some interesting and sustainable results.