Though they may have revolutionized the shipping industry, some point out that shipping containers are not particularly well-suited for housing: they are too narrow, too toxic and need structural reinforcing once you start cutting Swiss cheese-holes in them.
Despite the potential drawbacks, for some the minimalist beauty of shipping containers is the real draw. New Zealander Shane Blind created this novel micro-house out of a 20-foot shipping container that has a couple of pop-outs at its center, allowing him to get around that problem of narrowness. We go on a tour of this clever design, via Living Big In A Tiny House:
Blind and his wife use their "Pod-Tainer" as a guesthouse. Inside, you can see that the bump-outs really help to expand the space to feel more open and comfortable. Blind wanted to eliminate the need for fold-away tables and beds, as he tells Stuff.co.nz: "We wanted everything to be as it was and you didn't need to collapse anything to move around."
Instead, zones are demarcated by subtle details: the 6' by 3' bump-out that houses the sitting area is bounded by a curved carpet, while a curved half-wall with a window opening for light partitions off the bedroom.
The kitchenette has a good amount of storage, and could be equipped with a portable stove, microwave and refrigerator. There's a small dining table here that could double as a work table, or simply a place to sit and enjoy the view beyond the sliding glass doors.
Opposite the sitting area, in the other pop-out, sits the bathroom, which has a shower that even the 6-foot-tall Blind can comfortably stand up in.
It's yet another iteration of what's possible with shipping containers if one thinks outside the box, literally. The spaces here flow and integrate with one another quite nicely, and the pop-outs do certainly expand the claustrophobic gauntlet of the typical shipping container constraints into something that looks much more livable and appealing. Blind's Pod-Tainer is also surprisingly affordable: it cost him USD $20,000 to build (that's for materials and not counting two-and-a-half months of his own DIY labour). For more, visit Living Big In A Tiny House.