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Shipping Crate House With Rooftop Garden


Built from a used shipping crate as a guest house in San Antonio, this residence has sustainability in mind with every aspect of its design. Envisioned by Poteet Architects, the house sits on a platform made from old telephone poles, its used water is funneled to gardens on its roof, and it includes other nods to the environment like a composting toilet. With industrial origins and natural aspirations, the abode is full of exciting juxtapositions. To add to that theme, the interior of the house is fully finished in high style, with not a trace of the corrugated metal sides surrounding it. Bright colors are found throughout, including a captivating blue covering the exterior. While not forgetting its origins as a shipping crate, this home has an undoubtedly green nature.


The addition of wall-height windows brings in natural light to the interior of the shipping crate, while a patio deck off the front edge greatly extends its compact living space. On the top, a full rooftop garden is fed by waste water from the taps inside.

Despite its many residential additions and modifications, no attempt is made to hide the fact that the building is, in fact, a shipping container. The doors on one end and the retention of ID numbers along each side add to the charm of the cottage, marrying art and utility.

The entire container and its patio is raised a few inches above the lot, giving a step up into its spaces that helps separate it from the surrounding lawn. Color-matched plastic sheets are suspended over three metal supports to create an awning for the porch.

Half of the front window set at the living room doubles as a sliding door, the only entryway into the residence. Except for the bathroom window, each opening extends fully from floor to ceiling.


Inside, the main space of the guest house is a long, narrow living room. Due to the limitations of the eight-foot width of the container, the room’s furniture is all arranged facing out the front windows.

Except for the width, it’s almost impossible to tell from inside that this house originated as an industrial object. Wood paneling lines the walls and floors, and the decor is colorfully chic.

The dwelling’s bathroom is totally lined in red, with a thin window at the top of one end. A final portion of the house beyond its bathroom is used as storage for gardening tools, opened on the left end of the structure from the two swinging container doors that were kept.
Poteet Architects


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