Upcycling shipping containers is a huge global trend at the moment. An increasing number of designers, architects and even cash-strapped DIY fanatics are turning to shipping containers to create beautiful, bespoke constructions that are aesthetically pleasing and budget friendly.
Shipping containers are affordable and are made of strong, robust materials that make them the perfect upcycling project. As well as shipping container homes, there have been all kinds of incredible constructions made out of this versatile resource, including recording studios, bars, cafes and even swimming pools.
One of the most innovative upcycled home has been created in Ecuador that harnesses the strength and beauty of the shipping container. Plenty of glass has been used to compliment the rustic look of the shipping containers, creating a nice clean and light home that brings a sense of the outdoors inside. This home has been constructed using eight shipping containers, and the results are amazing.
The project was undertaken jointly by architects Daniel Moreno Flores and Sebastian Calero. They were asked to create an impressive home based around the client’s love of watches and mechanisms. The client had bought a block of flat, green land just outside of Pichincha, Ecuador and had envisioned a house made from raw materials and construction items to provide an industrial yet elegant design - just how an old pocket watch contains elegant yet industrial cogs and mechanisms.
Architects Flores and Calero were in complete agreement that only one material could give the right aesthetic while still create a structurally strong build: shipping containers.
Speaking of the practical aspects of intertwining shipping containers into the house design, the architects said, ‘They are basically used in their natural state.’. This means that each container, seven of which were 20 feet and one of which was 40 feet, were integrated into the building design to stand as individual rooms. Apart from adding windows and other small customisations, no significant alterations were made to the shipping containers for the project.
Shipping containers were used for more than just their practical purposes. The architects also favoured their natural aesthetic. All paint on the containers was completely stripped away to return them to their original state. The architects chose to do this because they liked the imperfect appearance of the containers. Speaking of the used containers, the architects said: “They keep all their scars as a legacy to their dent register and history of uses.” This sentiment is perfectly in keeping with the design brief as it is easy to link the dents and knocks of old shipping containers with the history of a well used and much loved pocket watch.
When implementing the shipping containers into the design of the house, the architects chose to mount the containers onto concrete blocks and angle them slightly. This was done to offset the angular aesthetic of the main building and create a more balanced final look. They also used metallic beams and concrete tiles to finish off the industrial look.
The final look
The end result is spectacular! The use of metallic, somewhat beat-up shipping containers alongside a large, glass-fronted main building creates a spacious and open feeling. To soften the overall design, the architects incorporated bare timber throughout the house. This also adds an rustic look that makes the house feel more homely. It’s a beautiful testament to what can be achieved with recycled products.