Containers on Grand is a new housing project made from old containers in Phoenix, Arizona. It’s just being assembled as we speak; you can follow it on Instagram. Designed and built by STARKJAMES, there is already a waiting list for the 740 square foot one bedroom rental units. An investor in the project, Kathleen Santin, tells the College Times that most of the prospective tenants are looking for “something that is creative, innovative and different”.
Santin says there’s no doubt that there is currently a housing shortage in downtown, and even if they are at market price, they don’t necessarily have that sleek, modern look that millennials are searching for. “The majority of people contacting us love downtown but don’t live downtown. I just think there’s a shift in the generation. People don’t want to be in the suburbs anymore.”
Here in TreeHugger, I have wondered whether shipping container architecture makes sense; They are narrow inside, the floors are treated with insecticides and can be toxic, and they are monocoque construction with the walls supporting the roof, so when you cut out big sections to weld them together, you have to put in almost as much new steel in beams as you cut out in panels. It’s hot and sunny in Phoenix, so they will need a lot of insulation. Shading over the windows would be nice too.
But the designers have been really clever in their placement of the bathrooms and the kitchens in a separate site-built link between the containers; this makes it easier to wire and plumb, and separates the containers into clusters which breaks down the massing and looks a lot better.
I grew up around shipping containers (my dad made them) and played with them in architecture school, and have never thought they would ever make good housing, being designed for freight, not people. But StarkJames is demonstrating that you can build housing that hits a real market niche, that with enough cutting and welding you can make decent comfortable space, and hopefully with enough insulation and air conditioning the occupants won’t cook. I might have to reconsider.
Found on Jetson Green.