Inside-Outside House

A unique challenge came into the design offices.  A house with containers exposed on the inside and the outside.  Generally one needs to choose one or the other.  The design solution was to expose 4 containers to the exterior on one side of the building, and 4 containers exposed to the interior on the other side. An efficient, simple structure was required for the limited budget the clients presented me with.

The concept developed into an arrangement of small intimate spaces within shipping containers, and tall, wide open, public spaces between the containers.  The interior design features a split staircase, huge picture windows toward the water and mountain views and a mezzanine above the living room.  The design is also an affordable assembly of wood trusses, steel roofing and wall finishes, as well as integral container door balconies.


  • 2600 sqft (241 sqm)
  • 11 shipping containers (20 foot)
  • 3 bedrooms
  • passive solar collection

3 Responses to “Inside-Outside House”

  • Jose Delgado says:

    This is absolutely amazing and inspiring. You mentioned this was for a client with a limited budget. Can you be more specific on what kind of budget (in USD) this sort of project would require? Thank you.

  • keith says:

    We are trying to achieve $130/sqft in an area where this quality of work is done for $200/sqft

  • Jose Delgado says:

    Wow!! Ok, I’m looking into an area where the average home cost is $110/sqft (Apple Valley, Ca). Is it possible to get it done for even cheaper than that? This has really captured my interest and it seems like this is the route I’m going to go with building my home.

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