From dwellings to retail parks, we've showcased a number of recycled shipping container buildings over the years, noting when it may make sense to build with shipping containers, and when it doesn't. In any case, the debate hasn't taken the shine off this versatile genre, and Tbilisi, Georgia-based architect Dachi Papuashvili adds yet another to the mix with his crucifix-shaped, off-grid shipping container home concept that would also serve (not surprisingly) as a spiritual retreat, either for "churchmen [or] laymen."
Papuashvili's aim is to efficiently create a one-person residence that could be easily built on difficult terrain using waste construction materials, saying on Dezeen that:
In Georgia the construction of monasteries and 'skits' with stones and concrete is very popular. My task was to plan a skit for one person, using waste construction materials and spending less labour.
Built out of two insulated, reinforced shipping containers that are clad with wood, Papuashvili's "Skit" is an interesting re-configuration of the shipping container form, allowing for a four-storey structure of 24 square metres (258 square feet) that offers various spaces for spiritual study, meditation, rest, cooking (on the main floor) and bathing (second floor). At the ground floor is storage and utilities; at the very top is a prayer room and outdoor terrace. Its elevated position above the ground means that it is well-suited to isolated, spiritual pursuits; Papuashvili asserts that the form follows function, and "is not linked with religious symbols." The interiors are clean and modern, and look more comfortable than ascetic.
The residence is outfitted with a composting toilet, rainwater-harvesting equipment, and solar panels and a solar hot water heater on its roof.
It's an interesting idea that might work if issues like sufficient reinforcement, and dealing with any toxic flooring, are addressed. Though Papuashvili's design is currently at the concept stage, he's hoping to come out with a prefab prototype by next year. See more over at Dezeen and on Dachi Papuashvili's Behance.