Shipping containers are inherently narrow (7’-2” wide, finished inside). So, the design team opted to stack two 40’ long x 8’ wide containers on top of two and carve out the interior floor/wall/ceiling of half of this ‘4-pack’ unit to create a voluminous, 17’ tall, living space that would create an exciting and necessary spatial relief.
To reach the second floor from this room, the team chose to install a wide staircase, taking the whole width of a single container; in this manner, they extend the high living room ceiling and transform the stair itself into a kind of ‘amphitheatrical’ room that faces the backyard, pool, and sunsets—through floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall, windows.
Simplicity of spatial layout and materials were sought to yield compelling and uncluttered rooms while achieving budget goals. So, the rectilinear geometry of containers, and their inherent structural strengths, were used to guide room layout and structural requirements. In fact, the small 10’ x 10’ 2nd floor extension is essentially bolted and welded back to the main building and held in tension—it is devoid of beams underneath.