Cindy-_-'s Container House

Design a Container House


Chicago has a lot of shipping containers. Only a small percentage of the containers are used, leaving many just lying around with no purpose. These containers can be found in empty lots all over Chicago. Due to a large number of unused shipping containers, people have been figuring out solutions to recycle them. One of the ideas was to use the containers as materials to create living space that can be affordable to those that are unable to afford normal living space in Chicago. However, there was hesitance due to some flaws that shipping containers had. Such as poor insulation, can become extremely hot and humid, really heavy to lift, possibly contains remains of toxic materials, easily damage (compare to normal houses and buildings). Despite these disadvantages, it is outweighed by it possibly being a solution to Chicago's other problem, the homeless and impoverished families. Chicago's rents and homes can be really expensive and pricey which some people can't afford due to their personal situations. There is also a large percentage of homeless within the population of Chicago. Chicago also requires an address in order to get a job and benefits as well. College students who either want or have to live alone also don't have the resources to be able to afford a living space on their own. Shipping containers may be the solution to this problem as it doesn't require as many materials to renovate and it's a really small space which allows the price to be much affordable compare to regular living space in Chicago. My aim is to design a living space out of 1-4 shipping containers that people can properly live in. My target audience is mainly the homeless however I also would like to include poor families and broke college students. If properly renovated and designed, shipping containers may be many people's new homes and a start to their new lives.

Collect Info

An average shipping container is around 8' (width) by 20'(length) by 8'(height) and we are allowed to use up to 4 containers. Meaning we have around 640 feet square of area maximum. I plan to add a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and laundry space into the home design. Multiple of these homes can fit into a single lot which can be like a small neighborhood within a larger neighborhood that includes houses and buildings. An average lot in Chicago is around 3125 feet square and when dividing the area of the lot with the base area of a shipping container, it gives me space for around 4 shipping containers. Which makes the neighbors of these homes be others who are in similar financial situations so they can bond and find the motivation to earn money together. I decided to look for a lot near the city so that it is easier to travel from work/school from home as many jobs can be found within the city rather than the suburbs. The aim is to help build homes for the homeless for them to be able to find a job as it is easier to find a job with an address. These homes would provide the living necessities in a home which is a space for a bed, a kitchen, a bathroom, and bonus a place to do laundry. Although they can stay for however long they want, the purpose is to provide the homeless a home that is affordable and help them find a job until they are financially stable enough to purchase/rent a house or an apartment. Shipping containers are also more likely to be damaged than an average building so setting up a design that can resolve that problem is needed. WHO: My clients are Mary (26) who is a single mother who is raising her son, Evan (5) by herself. She works as a grocer and part-time waitress. Lately, the rent of her old apartment started going up. As she was afraid she couldn't afford it she needed a home that she can afford. With a newly given address, it would be easier to find a job. They need a place to sleep, eat, use the bathroom, cook, wash themselves, safe for children, and good enough security to keep them safe inside their homes. They would need strong security as it is easier to damage these homes and possibly rob them. Most importantly, they need a place that keeps feeling comfortable and relaxed when coming home from a hard day. Their neighbors are mostly likely families who live in the houses nearby the lot. WHERE: An average lot is around 3125 feet square. The lot I have chosen is considered to be within city and nearby transportation so the residents have easy access to public transportation as cars are too pricey. WHAT: Materials like fibers, foam, and glass can be used to help improve the poor insulation of the container and concrete can be used to help support the building from falling apart. I want to make sure that the living space is breathable while also maintaining the home's insulation. WHY: Chicago has a huge problem with poverty. Not enough people are helping out families in need which rises the percentage of homelessness in Chicago. The percentage of homelessness in Chicago rose by 2 percent in 2019. Hopefully, with the help of the abundance of shipping containers and empty lots, it would help solve the problem or at least lessen it.


Brainstorm Ideas

I created two designs for the floor plans. A smaller floor plan and a larger floor plan. I also drew out two bubble diagrams to show the placements of the house in the lot with what other outdoor things that I plan to place in the lot. First, I drew bubble diagrams on where I want the house to place depending on what house design I want to use. I also added other details like fences and trees to remind myself where I want them to be. Then, I designed two floor plans to provide more choices on how the houses should look like. I made sure the floor plans have a bedroom, bathroom, living room, and kitchen. Then I added furniture into the homes to indicate which rooms are which and to plan where I want to put the furniture when I create models of both houses. Then I sketched out how I imagined the house designs would look like from the outdoors to show a different perspective of the designs.

Develop Solutions

From the first to the third day, I worked on the exterior of the container home. That includes the exterior of the house, the background, and the lot of the house. I started off making the lot and the basic shape of the house. It took a few retries to get the shape I initially sketched out. Then I made the floorplan, I previously drew on paper, on Sketchup. Then slowly turned the lot from 2D to 3D giving walls. After the exteriors, I started working on the interiors by adding indoor walls to separate the rooms. I worked room by room. First, I worked on the furniture for the kitchen/dining room. Then, I worked on the living room and entrance. Then I worked on the second room which was designed to be an entire big room. Finally, I added colors to the walls and worked on any small details that I might've missed.

Final Design

For my final design, I made sure that the colors of the furniture in each of the rooms matched. Mostly the rooms were a mix of light and dark colors. In the pictures below is the exterior in different angles, the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom. The kitchen, bathroom, and living room are on the first floor. The staircase is nearby the entrance while the bathroom is nearby the kitchen. The bedroom is on the second floor which is also the entire second floor. There is also a balcony for a breath of fresh air in case the house feels too cramped. The entire lot is also fenced for the safety of children and security.


freykarts 2 months ago
Are you telling me that this is a student's project plan? This is great, when I was in school my projects are not as good as this. frey, roof repair