I still recall the first time I saw a shipping container used in architecture, even though it was more than 10 years ago.
It was 2001 and the project was called the “Future Shack’. A shipping container was converted as a prototype for mass relocatable housing, after a natural disaster.
The design is based on a standard 20 foot shipping container and is completely self contained providing ease of transport by ship, rail or road to an area where disaster relief is required.
Future Shack - external view
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Internally the Future Shack contains water tanks, solar power units, satellite receiver, a roof structure which opens like a parasol to provide shade and supports to lift the structure off the ground and provide a level base if the ground surface is uneven.
The external surfaces are left in their natural state and the unit is clad internally with marine ply, and houses a hidden table and two beds, which fold out when required. Blankets, food and clothing come as standard and a simple kitchen and bathroom rely on only a delivery of fresh water (the tanks are included) and a gas bottle.
Interior view with table pulled down from wall and kitchen prep area in background.
Bathroom - all stainless steel for easy cleaning and maintenance.
Each unit can be fully erected in 24 hours, and has had very little
structural change on the exterior, top hinged (rather than side) front
doors, and ventilation are the only changes, allowing it to maintain its structural integrity
and ability to be relocated easily.
The 'shack' is able to be completely self sufficient – to produce its own electricity, store its own water, is insulated to R4.0, shaded and has natural ventilation and has communications on board.
Yes, it is quite architectural in appearance, but amazing how it still impresses me more than 10 years since I first saw it, with its simple yet elegant design, and its ability to be dropped just about anywhere as a temporary home.
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