Modern Shipping Container Home in San Francisco

Two San Francisco art and travel addicts overhauled a loft?and customized a pair of shipping containers?to accommodate their collection and reflect their passions.

When the San Francisco couple says they love to travel, they don?t mean trips to Napa. Over the past three summers Wardell put 15,500 miles on a motorcycle he and Sagan keep in Milan on rides from the Arctic Circle to southwestern Portugal. When Wardell began collecting street art in the mid-1990s, he admits, “it quickly became an obsession.” When he began dating Sagan several years ago, “we got serious about buying big.” Starting with local graffiti artist Barry McGee, they bought ever-more ambitious installations by stars like Shepard Fairey, JR, and Os Gemeos?until they needed a bigger home to accommodate their approximately 120-piece collection.

In February of 2007 they purchased a 3,200-square- foot former Chinese laundry and tooth-powder factory with column-free interiors and a zigzagging sawtooth roof in lower Pacific Heights. As a former VP of real estate for Williams-Sonoma, “Claudia knew right away it had excellent bones,” says Wardell, a former financial advisor. The travelers also loved how the 127-foot-long loft seemed to stretch out to the horizon. “I walked up those front stairs, and I felt like I was at the edge of a highway, like I could keep going forever,” Sagan says. “I loved that feeling.”

Where some might box the cavernous space into cozier rooms, Wardell and Sagan wanted “to cele- brate that length,” Sagan says. The apartment lies on a north?south axis with large windows at either end. To showcase the art and maximize daylight, they decided to situate the master bedroom at the back, away from the street, but keep everything else open, with a central kitchen and living room and a den facing the street. They hired a local company to sandblast the interior to expose the board-formed concrete walls and replaced the carpeted floors with Georgia hickory pecan planks? the longest, knottiest boards they could find?to further lengthen the loft and make it look more like a warehouse. The next question was, “how do we make a home office and a guest bedroom happen without cluttering the space?” Sagan says.

For the guest room, “we wanted something our friends would tell everyone they knew about, but not so comfortable they would never leave,” Wardell explains. He wanted it to be a self-contained space with a Murphy bed, an element he remembered fondly from a train ride he took across Europe in his 20s. After considering plunking the interior compartment of a Pullman train car in the middle of the apartment, they landed on shipping containers.

“I contacted Hapag-Lloyd looking for an orange one in newer condition,” Wardell says. “But they?re German. They have rules. They wouldn?t sell us one, but they put out a call that these nuts in San Francisco wanted containers for their house. In late 2007, we got word that the Port of Oakland had some used ones.” Sagan examined several before choosing. “A ton are just a mess,” she says. “You?ll see a huge dent in the side and go, Wow, a wave did that? It?s important to smell them, too, because they pick up odors from their cargo.”

In 2008, while a container reseller prepped the containers (replacing the original pesticide-treated floors, repainting the walls, cutting out holes for windows and plumbing), a structural engineer and builder reinforced the loft?s floor with wooden joists to accommodate the nine-ton load. The containers arrived by flatbed truck one morning in late July; by midday, a crane had lowered them in through an opening in the roof, cantilevering the blue one, Wardell?s future home office, atop the orange one, the guest room.

For the container interiors, “the mood we wanted was raw,” Wardell says. There was only one caveat: The guest room “had to pass the Dottie test,” Sagan says. Her mother would be their first visitor that Christmas. “She was mortified by the idea of sleeping in a container,” Sagan says. “She said it sounded like a coffin.”

To customize the apartment and containers, Wardell brought in Pat Carson, a furniture designer and builder who shares the couple?s love for travel and industrial design. When asked why his pieces have so many rivets, Carson grins, “I?m that guy on the airplane by the window, staring at the wings.” Over six months Carson designed and constructed 75 custom fixtures for the apartment, many with a kinetic, gadget-like charm. “A lot of the creative ideas I?ve had in the past 20 years are manifested in this house,” Wardell says.

The carbon fiber dining table, for example, opens on a hinge to form a V, an L or a straight line, with ball casters embedded in the legs so it can glide easily. Woven-leather bar stools swivel between the table and the kitchen island. Surrounded by exposed copper piping, the guest bathroom?s teak-and-steel sink evokes the utilitarian atmosphere of a train car or ship cabin; in the master bathroom, tilt-out shelves in the shower hide shampoos. Just about the only convertible fixture Carson didn?t build in its entirety is the liquid crystal “privacy wall” in the guest bath, which changes from clear to opaque at the flick of a switch.

Shortly before Dottie arrived, Carson installed the custom Murphy bed, which is clad in aluminum with dozens of rivets and rolls up on a pulley made from a mill wheel. The unconventional guest room passed with flying colors. “She was pleasantly surprised at how spacious and comfortable it was,” Sagan says. It?s been a hit with subsequent guests as well. “We?ve found the container self-selects,” Wardell says. “Our friends who are the most fun choose to stay here.”

Contact??AZ Containers at 877-292-6937?to see how the most basic steel box to a customized, climate controlled storage or workspace with windows, they?ll have your solution on it?s way to you fast.

A Brooklyn Carriage House Is Revamped With a Penthouse Made From Shipping Containers

On a tree-lined street in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, a former carriage house from the 1930s is now a colorful modern home that boasts bright orange shipping containers.

Commissioned by an artist, a gallerist, and their daughter, LOT-EK was tasked with renovating and expanding their existing two-story home. The new design rotates around an extension made out of stacked shipping containers, and features vibrant colors and a centralized-floor plan. As a result, the architecture is now organized around a polychromatic core volume that extends from the ground floor to the roof terrace.

The redesign includes a bright orange penthouse, which was retrofitted out of four stacked shipping containers. This part of the house dictates the flow between each space and provides access to an external rooftop terrace. The same color continues throughout?intersecting, connecting, and organizing various internal sections.

Contact? AZ Containers at 877-292-6937 to see how the most basic steel box to a customized, climate controlled storage or workspace with windows, they?ll have your solution on it?s way to you fast.

Ship Shape: An Austin Home With a Shipping Container Addition Asks $499K

This duplex creatively reuses shipping containers as home additions that can serve as guest bedrooms, offices, or art studios. “The intent was to give the homeowner a place where they felt inspired to live and work,” says Rios. With one unit already sold, Unit B, which mirrors the same floor plan with more feminine finishes, is being offered for $499,000.

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In her discussions with Reynolds, Rios requested that the architecture of the building reflect the shipping containers in the backyard. The modular appearance of the duplex, clad in white Hardie plank siding, mimics the look of a two-story container home. With large windows and 11-foot-tall ceilings, the two-bedroom, three-bath residence feels more spacious than its 1,484 square feet. On the ground floor, the living, dining, and kitchen areas flow into one another; potential guests in the shipping container also have easy access to a full bath of their own. A steel-and-wood floating staircase leads to the second floor, which holds two bedrooms with patio access.

“This home brings a downtown high-rise feel with your own private work space and is literally steps away from one of the most popular neighborhoods in Austin,” says Rios. “The east side is vibrant, funky, and very open to new concepts. There is no other place I would have rather built my first home including the shipping containers.”

Contact? AZ Containers at 877-292-6937 to see how the most basic steel box to a customized, climate controlled storage or workspace with windows, they?ll have your solution on it?s way to you fast.

Inexpensive, Easy-Assembly Shipping Container Home

An attractive shipping container house shows the benefits of prefab living.

It was an almost-unheard of price point in New York: $100 per square foot for a new home. That?s what a pop-up shipping container structure that was displayed in the West Village in 2010 promised Manhattanites. The sleek, 320-square-foot MEKA home, designed by Jason Halter and Christos Marcopoulous and featuring 70% recycled materials, was a strong showing for prefab construction.

Contact? AZ Containers at 877-292-6937 to see how the most basic steel box to a customized, climate controlled storage or workspace with windows, they?ll have your solution on it?s way to you fast.

How to Stay Cool by Living in a Shipping Container

A shipping container home tackles temperature control in a tropical environment.

For a site southeast of Jakarta, a young Indonesian couple asked eco-minded firm Atelier Riri to design a fun, contemporary home with designated spaces for their two kids to exercise their creativity. The project?s modest budget (approximately $55,000) led the architects to use shipping containers?a bold move given the region?s sweltering climate.

“By concentrating on humidity and temperature control, we found economical ways to facilitate a comfortable environment inside a metal box,” says the firm?s founder, Novriansyah Yakub. His team crisscrossed four containers Lincoln Log-style and added shutters, windows, and sliding doors to create a cross-ventilation system. Layers of recycled pine, glass wool, and planter mesh on top of the containers further decrease temperature. Cost-effective elements continue inside the three-bedroom home, including custom wood furnishings and polished concrete floors. A roof garden equipped for rainwater harvesting connects to the residence?s crown jewel: a bright red game room, now chock-full of toys.

 

Contact? AZ Containers at 877-292-6937 to see how the most basic steel box to a customized, climate controlled storage or workspace with windows, they?ll have your solution on it?s way to you fast.

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