By Christine Walsh on Nov. 25, 2014
Washington D.C. recently got it’s first piece of residential shipping container architecture in the form of a Brookland apartment building. The project was the brainchild of DC-based architect Travis Price and his partner Kelly Davies, who did the work for owners Matthew Grave and Sean Joiner. The residential building, located at 3305 7th Street NE, was built to replace a run down family home that once occupied the spot.
The architects used 18 recycled shipping containers to construct the 24 one-bedroom units, which are intended to be rented out as student housing. The containers they used are 10-feet high, which make them perfect for small apartments. By using repurposed shipping containers they were also able to keep the cost of construction down, and below that of traditional construction prices.
But being built out of shipping containers isn’t the only sustainable part of these homes. The architects also used recycled materials for the interiors, such as the flooring, which is made from welded metal and wide-plank. They used corrugated plastic on the exterior of the building.
Large French windows were installed on the shorter side of each container, allowing plenty of daylight to enter the home. The longer sides were also fitted with large windows, to lessen the feeling of living in a box that can sometimes come from living in a shipping container. The units themselves are very sparsely furnished, and each features a bedroom and a bathroom, with a communal living area and kitchen on each of the floors. Though the units are meant for a single person, they could easily house two as well.
The entire project took seven months to complete, from design idea to finished building. Despite protests from the neighborhood they were able to stay on track with the construction.