The Future is Now: Shipping Containers Transform Into Eco-Friendly Apartments
Are you into cool new trendy architecture? How about energy-saving, eco-friendly living spaces? Or would you just settle for a decent place to live? You can have all three if you’re a student at Catholic University of America (CUA) and sign up for SeaUA, a totally hip new apartment complex that is repurposing sea-worthy shipping containers into comfortable and functional living quarters.
The idea was the brainchild of four people: former CUA students Matthew Grace and Sean Joiner, plus Travis Price, the visionary “Spirit of Place” architect who also teaches at Catholic, and Kelly Davies, another CUA alum who works for Travis Price Architects and also happens to be engaged to Matthew Grace. The former students and budding entrepreneurs wanted to do something big and bold to meet residential needs for Millennials living around the CUA campus. A back-of-the-envelope brainstorming session led to the idea of repurposing shipping containers into affordable, sustainable and inspiring housing.
The containers came from the nearby Port of Baltimore, where they were rescued from their probable fate at a landfill. Each container is eight feet wide, 40 feet long, and almost 9 feet high, but those dimensions change once the structure is cut open in some places, welded together in others, and enhanced by floor-to-ceiling windows plus doors to balconies. In addition to repurposing the container, other green features of the SeaUA complex include sound and heat insulation, birch plywood walls, and the original marine-grade plywood floors.
In the current project, the containers make up three floors. There are six containers per level. Each level includes six bedrooms and bathrooms, plus a common area for cooking and hanging out. Plans on the drawing boards call for creating a one-bedroom apartment with kitchen and living area, as well as custom luxury homes, a floating Sea Container apartment complex for Millennials on the Potomac River, and a floating Sea Container village for the homeless near Georgetown.
Says architect Travis Price, “Repurposing sea containers has been proliferating globally for years. However, today with over 700,000 fallow sea containers alone in the US, their reuse is not only an ecological necessity, but one that will help put the US construction industry back to work locally.”
While Price acknowledges that some people might find the design a bit far out, by and large the response from interested renters has been, “How do I get one?”
For more information and to see more pictures of SeaUA, visit Travis Price Architects.
Pictures courtesy of Travis Price Architects.