Sunday, March 7, 2010

Shipping Container Home

I want to live in a glass house. I don't mean to say that I want to live exposed to the world or unable to throw stones (I occasionally enjoy a bit of stone throwing). I mean I literally want to live in a house made of glass. Specifically, a house made solely of windows, like this one:How cool is that?

Actually, in an ideal situation, the above building would be a bit more well built, and would serve as my art studio with an add-on divided by a thick plastic curtain for my greenhouse in which I would grow a vast array of rare and beautiful plants that either serve a medicinal purpose, or have gorgeous flowers. I can so clearly picture myself in this place. In one room or the other, going between garden lady covered in dirt and smelling of earth and crazy artist lady covered in a multitude of paints and smelling of paste.
My landscape outside my windows jumps back and forth in my mind from beautiful northern California forest on a hill... lush tropical jungle dotted with fruit trees and a mere 10 minute walk from the ocean (perhaps the Gulf of Mexico?).

So, where would I actually live, you ask? Well, in a converted shipping container of course! No, I'm completely serious. One day, not too long ago, Quinn and I stumbled across a man's blog about how he had an idea to solve his problem of needing a live/work space in various places around the world for relatively short periods of time, ie a year or so. He came up with the idea of converting a shipping container. The idea is, shipping containers are easily and cheaply shipped all around the world. It's the standard for import/export. If you have anything in your home that came from China or Thailand etc, there is a 99% chance it made it's journey to you by shipping container. They are all built standard in order be stacked on ships, or placed on semis quickly and easily. AND they come with hardwood floors! This takes mobile home living WORLDWIDE! Oh, and the possibilities for modification of these things is endless.

When we did more research on this concept we came to understand that they've become a kind of sustainable housing trend over the past few years. People have done some crazy shit with these shipping containers.

You can do all kinds of things with these containers! You can stack them on top of each other for a two story home, you can stack them side by side and connect them with hallways, or even tear down whole sides and stick two together for a double wide, or replace a wall with glass! The possibilities are mindbogglingly endless!

However, for the time being our plan is relatively simple. We want one container that we can fold back up and ship anywhere in the world. We'll roam around looking for cheap land to rent, and then ship our container, unfold it, and voila! Home sweet home! When we've tired of this lifestyle and want to settle in a bit more, we'll find a nice plot of land someplace and plop our container down and perhaps add a couple more, as well as my window-made art studio/greenhouse.

But even the first part of this plan is far off in the distance, and we're just young enough that we wholeheartedly (or foolhardily, you decide) believe that we can make this dream come true for ourselves. Part of the reason we're doing the farming in foreign countries thing is to learn how to grow our own food so that someday we can live primarily off our own land and maybe trade our produce or flowers for chocolate and wine.


  1. In the Netherlands, they have whole apartment complexes of shipping containers, stacked up. Run a google search on "keetwonen" for more info.

  2. I saw those! They look pretty cool.

  3. amazing. seriously. bryan and i still talk about pre-fab housing and how we should just plop ourselves on a piece of land with a small pre-fab abode. this just makes me want to do it more.

  4. I have always wanted to convert shipping containers into some sort of living space if nothing else just a honeycomb hideout! So glad your back!

  5. Container homes are pretty cool. There is such freedom to design and build the home of your dreams. A home is nearly all windows is possible with shipping container homes.