Cargo Container Home

Cordell House - 4 Re-Purposed Containers

The 'Cordell house' is a cargo container home that was constructed as a prototype container home for Numen Development in 2008 for a couple and their young son.

Numen Development are a design and development business focused on creating affordable urban housing out of re-purposed cargo containers. 

Cordell House - re-purposed shipping cargo container home in Houston. Front entry and deck.
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Cordell House - re-purposed shipping cargo container home in Houston. Front entry and deck.

Image courtesy of Dwell

Containers are a common site in Houston which is an industrial hub in the USA, but the home had to overcome building codes, a problem for many proposed container projects, despite the ready supply of containers and their relative affordability. 

The project has four containers at its core – arranged to provide a 2 bedroom home and 400 foot rear deck which adjoins a guest quarters. The main house is two 40ft containers and one 20ft container.

The front entry features a curved steel shade over the front porch which is much used part of home connecting it to the street and front yard.

cargo container home Houston - Cordell House
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Cordell House - cargo container home in Houston. View across living room towards front door.

Image courtesy of Dwell


The internal entry space features a fibreglass wall which wraps around the master bedroom, its colour being anywhere between turquoise (in the bedroom), lime/yellow (dining room) depending on which room you stand in and then a soft glowing green at night when the lights between the two surfaces are lit up.

Cordell House - cargo container home in Houston. View across living room towards rear deck and guest quarters.
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Cordell House - cargo container home in Houston. View across living room towards rear deck and guest quarters.

Image courtesy of Dwell


Full height windows to the raked ceilings, give the rooms added height and interest. The house has a warmth that some container buildings lack, partly due to the mix of materials including bamboo flooring, commercial grade glazing and the exposed timber beams.

Internally the home features exposed steel ceilings in some rooms, as well as feature steel ribbed walls in kitchen and dining areas and a splash of colour with the fibreglass wall.

The kitchen provides a view across the main living spaces and out to the deck and guest quarters, with containers on show, but no sense of enclosure, which can be a problem in some container buildings.

Cordell House - cargo container home in Houston. View across living room to raised kitchen, and to 2nd bedroom,
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Cordell House - cargo container home in Houston. View across living room to raised kitchen, and to 2nd bedroom.

Image courtesy of Dwell


The step up to the kitchen allows for the difference in height in the different containers, it also provides visual interest and demarcates the two spaces.

Cordell House - re-purposed cargo container home in Houston.  Guest quarters, rear fenceline and garden.
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Cordell House - re-purposed cargo container home in Houston.

Guest quarters, rear fenceline and garden.

Image courtesy of Dwell

The guest quarters features full height glass on opposing walls which provides a light and airy space which faces onto both the expansive deck  and garden at the rear of the property.



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