Genius Design: The House That Moves With You | Updated

0 Genius Design: The House That Moves With You | Updated

I’ve heard of students roughing it, but sleeping in freight containers? That’s right. Only it’s not a case of desperate living or some torturous fraternity hazing — it’s a very cool,very useful idea developed by a Dutch company called TempoHousing. Lots of images after the jump

First conceived in the 1930s, the ISO dry freight container has been the universal shipping receptacle worldwide for the past fifty years. You’ve no doubt seen thousands of them in your lifetime.

But could you live in one? Before you say “No way, it’s too small” or “it’s too boring”, check this out: with standard dimensions of 40’ x 8’ x 8’6’, the containers can be stacked (a whopping 8,000 can fit on a large ship) and transported anywhere in the world via water, rail or road.

tempo1 gliving Genius Design: The House That Moves With You | Updated

How is it different from a trailer, you ask? Well, for one, thing it’s green.

With millions of these containers in existence — many of them sitting around unused, taking up precious space or rusting away in junkyards — TempoHousing got the brilliant idea to recycle them into livable units. The result is comfortable, fashionable, affordable and can be… you guessed it… shipped anywhere in the world. How cool is that?

Sure, they’re tiny. But each 332.9 square foot unit comes with the standard apartment amenities: kitchen, bathroom with hot water (via a 13.2 gallon boiler), heating (from dual units, one at each end), electrical wiring — even a balcony. Some containers also have windows on the side and air conditioning is available for an additional charge. In addition, a special roof has been added to provide efficient rainwater drainage, insulation and ventilation.

Design-wise, these creations are both smart and innovative. The nearly 26 square foot bathroom contains a special anti-slip floor with an integrated shower base. The doors come with anti-theft hinges and heavy duty locks, while the double-glazed U-value windows are equipped with fall-through safety. And of course, there are smoke detectors.

tempo0 gliving Genius Design: The House That Moves With You | Updated

tempo2 gliving Genius Design: The House That Moves With You | Updated

What I love is the endless potential for growth. The units can exist on their own or be stacked into “blocks” with centralized electricity, phone and internet systems. An entire complex can be easily created, taken down, moved and recreated. It’s sort of like when Laverne, Shirley and all their neighbors and friends moved from Milwaukee to L.A. — only this could actually happen.

It doesn’t end there. In addition to mini-apartments, TempoHousing has converted these containers into cafes, supermarkets and offices. And in the works is a 3-star container hotel (or “cotel”) in Amsterdam. They’ve also come in handy in disaster areas like Pakistan, where fast, easily installable emergency shelters are needed.

But perhaps the coolest application thus far has been Keetwonen, the ultra-hip student housing project completed last year in Amsterdam. 1000 units came together to create a dorm alternative that was comfortable and sustainable.

tempo3 gliving Genius Design: The House That Moves With You | Updated

What makes this concept so incredibly cool is not just that they’re recycling old containers or that you can now take your home with you, it’s TempoHousing’s flexibility and willingness to adapt. Their mission statement (obviously written in Dutch and hastily translated into English) states that “quality housing – everywhere in the world – is a key in improving the quality of life. A low cost but fast solution that will last many years is of essence.” According to their website, their in-house design team is available and eager to discuss your personal housing needs and develop specially tailored solutions to make your freight container unit as comfortable as possible.

Custom design that’s green, cool, easy to set up, durable (at least 20 years), and a good investment to boot? Sounds pretty “G” to me.

To see a cool video about Keetwonen, click here

  • cat

    I see these “geewiz” items all the time and most seem to be from Europe as the coding and safety would NEVER fly in the US. I’m not saying it’s better our way and I appreciate artistic types pushing the envelope…but the cool stuff never comes here!

  • http://www.Home-Museum.com Bill Harvey

    Cat is right. Even building codes are political here. Lots of stuff we do to build houses has more to do with some lobbiest having gotten something he makes required in the UBC. (Uniform Building Code)

    In addition, city councils get themselves re-elected by protecting property values. This leads to -among other silly and intrusive rules- planning department policies that require all buildings have a certain size value etc. In my community -and it is not an affluent community by any means- you may NOT build a house of less them 1500 square feet. It may be your land, you may have bought the 2×4's, concrete, pipe-fittings and all the other things that go into a house, and you may not need but 1000 sq. feet, but you HAVE to build 1500.

  • gordon huser

    I agree totally. I’ve seen some other (commercial) uses of shipping containers her in the US -a traveling photography exhibit most recently. Unfortunately, the UBC (and what’s universal about it?) prohibits most creative use of materials or variance from standard. -More dumbing down of the US.

  • http://www.noncicredo.net/?p=343 I can’t believe it! » The House That Moves With You
  • Jersey Gadfly

    Actually there has a fair amount of container construction here in the States. Bob Villa did a show about a container house built in North Charleston, South Carolina with containers converted by a Tampa, Florida company. Peter DeMaria, an Architect out of Manhattan Beach, California has done a UBC compliant design. I think the concept is wonderful. Living in a cute but tiny mid 1800's urban house I would love to put a container addition/ greenhouse in the back with a second story deck recovering the lost yard below. I find the combination of solid green design combined with the juxtaposition of modern and victorian architecture quite attractive.

  • Samantha

    Snow Crash anyone?

  • kenny

    cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • mek2103

    these units would have to have one hell of an air conditioning unit, as i have worked on construction sites using them for tool storage,temporary foremans shacks and on hot summer day and they can get very hot ,much like an oven truly unbearable.

  • Mark

    Besides being a kitschy, cool, alternative housing, imagine the practicality of using them for temporary housing after natural disasters. Post-Katrina, thousands of people were forced in to sprawling trailer parks. It would make so much more sense to use re-purposed shipping containers than spending money on new material for trailer homes.

  • alex

    please give an adress for the north charleston location i lived there for a year and knew nothing of it. novaknuke42@hotmail.com this is a very interesting and viable solution to a housing problem.

  • Joe

    Check out Contanier Cities I and II put up in London around 2001
    (Pre) Fab-tastic!!!

  • http://myninjaplease.com/?p=3823 6 Container House, Melaque at myninjaplease

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  • Arlen

    I would like to bury one in my back yard. Have a stepped entry. The ultimate conditioned workshop. Can't more green than that!

  • http://www.martinsc.net martinsc

    i like the idea of it.
    i wish i had a few of these before i got married

  • http://www.subcorpus.net/blog/ subcorpus

    yeah …
    i haveseen some kewl designs with containers …
    mostly in temp shelters and construction site offices …
    this one is good …

  • http://www.eugenef.com Nature Wallpaper

    wow now thats an idea… those are huge… hmmm

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  • http://eelke.net eelkenet

    actually, in one of the news items on their site the guy behind the idea tells there's an US office for these houses, in Louisiana.. also for dorms etc

  • http://www.numendevelopment.com juan

    My partner and I are doing custom projects in Houston, TX along these lines. Our last project was an art gallery (see http://www.mackeygallery.com for photo in progress) that went from initial discussion to full operation in 120 days. It is fully disassemblable and movable with less than 5% material waste. During the onsite construction, we generated about a dozen kitchen bags of trash. o We just broke ground on a single family residence that will be complete in about 90 days that will LEED certified platinum. This can definitely be an efficient, green, and beautiful way to build if proper thought is put into the design. Fortunately or unfortunately, it can also be as ugly and uncomfortable as a mobile home if done badly, but some people want that, too…..

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  • http://areal.swifthost.net/?p=2677 TempoHousing builds up-market houses in freight containers | Technology Funda

    […] The very thought of living in a container puts you in the mindset of a down-trodden destitute that cant afford to rent a flat. But this conception is about to go under drastic changes. The Dutch company TempoHousing has a novel way of recycling unused containers in the form of houses that are not only hip and classy but also functional. The standard dimensions are 40’ x 8’ x 8’6’, the containers can be stacked (a monstrous 8,000 can fit on a large ship) and transported anywhere in the world via water, rail or road. Each 332.9 square foot unit is equipped with standard apartment amenities like kitchen, bathroom with hot water (through a 13.2 gallon boiler), heating (from dual units, one at each end), electrical wiring and some even have a bonus balcony included. Some containers also have windows on the side and air conditioning is available for an additional charge. The special roof provides efficient rainwater drainage, insulation and ventilation. The bathrooms measure almost 26 square foot and contain a special anti-slip floor with an integrated shower base. The doors are fitted with anti-theft hinges and heavy-duty locks, plus the double-glazed U-value windows are equipped with fall-through safety. Plus there are smoke detectors. Stack them up in a block or keep it as a stand-alone unit, as a block, the containers can enjoy centralized electricity, phone and Internet systems. The whole TempoHousing set-up is entirely portable. Source […]

  • http://www.vickysvirtualoffice.com/ Vicky

    very good idea. I love green projects. Being a Geocacher I often do CITO, cache in, trash out events.

  • http://www.kbdqld.com.au/ Designerkitchen Sunshinecoast

    hey,wow..i like this idea.cool..



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