Beach Refuge: recycled containers with ocean views

Beach Refuge: recycled containers with ocean views
By Bevin Chu
April 6, 2013
Taipei, China

Beach Refuge: recycled containers with ocean views
http://www.busyboo.com/2013/03/17/container-beach-hut/
Casa Huente
http://www.pabloerrazuriz.cl/2013/03/casa-huente/

Standard 20 and 40 foot long ISO shipping containers have been often used as emergency housing in disaster areas.


Standard ISO Shipping Container

Unfortunately those charged with using shipping containers for this purpose, even in the “First World,” are usually tone deaf and color blind when it comes to design. The results can be dismal indeed.


Typical Poorly Designed Emergency Housing:
How NOT to design a Shipping Container House!

My own preliminary study of shipping container housing design has taught me that three design features are essential for shipping container houses:

1. The shipping container house must be elevated above the surrounding grade level, at knee height or above
2. The shipping container house must include a generous elevated outdoor deck, that is both visible and accessible from within the house 
3. The outdoor deck must be covered by a roof or a canopy

The shipping container beach refuge shown below, by contrast, was designed by talented Chilean architect Pablo Errazuriz. It has all essential three design features mentioned above, and meticulous attention to architectural design. The result is impressive. It and other architect designed shipping container homes, suggest the unrealized potential in shipping container architecture.   

Site Plan/Floor Plan


Aerial View, Inland Side


Elevation, Inland Side


Deck, Inland Side


Ramp, Inland Side


Ramp, Inland Side


Elevation, Ocean Side


Deck, Ocean Side


Ocean View, Interior


Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, with similar design parti: a rectangular box shaped house on elevated stilts, with covered outdoor deck. I would not be the least bit surprised if Pablo Errazuriz’s beach refuge was inspired by the Farnsworth House.

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