The Container House RD emerges from the owner’s intimate rapport with metal structures. A metalworker by profession, he dreamt of participating in the construction of his own home, alongside his team, putting to practice industrial solutions to conventional construction practices. The idea of reusing and repurposing marine containers as highly-resistant, ready-made structures, resonated fully with the aspirations and ambitions of our architectural firm to develop a challenging project. Another important factor which informed our decision to opt for this material modality was the optimization of the work, both in terms of time and ease of assemblage, a far cry from traditional masonry and reinforced concrete.
In principle, the use of containers in construction, setup side-by-side or stacked, lends itself to highly-rational proposals due to the module’s ease of handling. Based on the exceptional built-in structural potential of the container, the formal concept of the Container House emerged: stacked yet rotated structures advancing unexpected balancing and rotational gestures. The inspiration sprang forth during research when we came upon the iconic image of an immense ship, laden with containers piled-high in a disordered heap.
The home is located on a hillside in Porto Alegre, in the South of Brazil, on one of the highest rises of the city. The landscape unfolds before the huge windows of the living room, oriented towards a conservation area next to the site, with the balanced and rotated volume of the master suite overlooking the Guaíba River and its unforgettable sunsets. These obliquely juxtaposed modules offer different angles on the landscape.
In addition to these orientation and location considerations, the parcel in question is doted with more generous dimensions than those commonly found in urban lots. Its disposition allows for the gesture of rotation to take place so that the house’s placement does not encroach on the perimeter. It is comfortably set back, thus ensuring the family’s privacy despite the many openings that provide cross ventilation at various times.
The plot is on a pronounced slope and thus produces a half-interred story, where the garage/workshop is located. Because of its intersection with the ground, this volume was realized in pre-cast concrete, maintaining the standardized and industrial logic of the construction.
For the façades, it was decided to take advantage of container aesthetics by featuring the manifest metal structure as such — even the main doorway of the residence is made with two original doors from the modules. Internally, to assure thermo-acoustic quality, the walls and ceilings were covered with drywall, while the floor received vinyl flooring after leveling with OSB panels and a leveling compound. Some inner walls reveal the raw structure, affirming and reminding us that this unusual house, built by many hands, is a large tower of stacked containers.
Material Used :
1. Window frames: Besser
2. Custom-madeforniture: Radke soluções industriais
3. Socks and chairs: Mezas Mob Design: Mezasmob
4. Upholstery and furniture: Casa de Alessa