EXCLUSIVE PICS: Shipping Container Home Pops Up in NY

by , 08/24/14

 Meka, shipping containers, prefab, prefab architecture, green architecture, prefabirctaed homes, modular homes, modular architecture, Michael de Jong, Jason Halter, Christos Marcopoulous, West Village, NYC, New York City,

Arriving 95% built (quite amazingly), the home can be setup with all the appropriate installations in less than two weeks, pending the foundation. However, with the case at hand, the prefab was setup on-site in less than two days (without installations or foundation).

Selling at only $100 per sq foot, the MEKA aptly responds to the issue of cost versus pricing in the discussion of prefabricated home production. While prefabs are certainly cheaper to build than custom homes, for a number of producers/architects, to remain profitable, their pricing scheme still hovers in a range that remains out of reach for much of the public. Comparatively, MEKA modules can easily be tailored to fit any budget.

The West Village prefab was set up less than a week ago, where the architects and MEKA’s founder sought to test out the construction and see how the public would respond, and not surprisingly, the trio have received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback. During our own visit we eavesdropped on a few conversations where visitors were already dreaming up alternative uses – NYC rooftop playhouse or pop-up party spot, anyone? While this particular prefab has already been sold, it will remain at the Charles and Washington site for the next two weeks. So if you’re in the area, be sure to stop by.


Photos: © Diane Pham/Inhabitat

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  1. Tom Woods January 19, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Hi Diane,

    Jason and Christos did a great job designing this home, I love it. Do you happen to have any more MEKA examples on the site, I’ve searched and couldn’t find any?

    I’ve used Container Home Plans to find designs and plan inspirations but I’m wondering if you have any of the floor plans that MEKA have used?

    Many Thanks.

  2. BnT August 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    amazing please contact me as I will have you build

  3. Vicki Trusselli December 28, 2012 at 11:23 am

    this is so cool and the concept of the modular home at a low cost is incredible. i want to know how actually affordable it is. at least this is a step away from multi million dollar mansions.now with low cost like this or how low could it go there should be enough housing for everyone. right?

  4. maxinny February 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    My question is about the legal and paperwork process. Can this home obtain a certificate of occupancy in NY, in Florida …, does it have a federal authorization to be build?

  5. jparkes September 21, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    I am ready to move in! Local costs are different everywhere, perhaps thats why those costs cannot be given in an article that is at least national if not international. Zoning and permits have got to be a problem, this is a fairly new type of structure for the government employees to figure out, ihm…if they can. I would simply call it mobile and let them figure out wether or not the same codes apply. Never volunteer new concepts to a beurocrat!

  6. Shawty March 30, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I love this idea! People could live in affordable, safe and comfortable housing–housing that stands against the elements. Also, I’ve seen some nicely made exteriors to eliminate that usual container look.

    Businesses can keep much more of its profits; safer schools can be made. (Upstate NY lost kids who were in the cafeteria when their school was hit by a horrendous hurricane.) Schools would save money and TEACHERS’ JOBS WOULD BE SAVED!!!! States would then have surpluses instead of blaming educators for money problems.

    I see so much potential here. These containers could also be nicely made for the old fashioned alternative schools (boot camps for tough kids; reform schools for the difficultly behaved kids; boarding schools for various reasons; fine arts schools; etc.) and for kids’ safe, fun places. President Obama should seriously consider these containers’ potentials. The potentials are endless; jobs would be vast; savings will take place; etc. The US would do very well.

    I’m just hyped about these things. BTW, where in lower county NY can these be used? NYC has so many eye-sores; open lots. Other NY areas have open lots, etc. where these containers can be artfully used. Sorry, but a building of containers with various outer paint colors doesn’t do it for me. NYC chic–now we’re talkin’.


  7. Daniel Sokol December 14, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Container homes really do perform well and have an excellent ROI. I wanted to so much that I built my own and now build them for other people (www.leedcabins.com). Cost per sq/ft can be palatable, option unlimted and the results outstanding. THE PROBLEM? Local zoning and planning boards.
    Daniel Sokol, Leed Cabins

  8. john simmis November 22, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    If you are considering modular or prefab home, building with recycled shipping containers is worth taking a look at. There are many considerations that have contributed to the appeal of building with intermodal shipping containers – availability, standardization, the recycled/green factor, economy and speed of construction, their durability, and even their “elegance/grace”.


    Lots of great example buildings, details, facts, and links to other articles. They have something new that you can setup your own project wiki to get help with your project if you are considering a design build project.


  9. PHOTOS: MEKA Shipping C... November 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    […] READ MORE> 0 email thisemail facebookfacebook diggdigg tweetmeme_url = "http://inhabitat.com/2010/11/21/photos-meka-shipping-container-prefab-home-pops-up-in-nyc/"; tweetmeme_style = "compact"; […]

  10. Modular_Thailand November 18, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Yes, I greed with Matthew about the estimated expenses will be charged you on reasonable construction factors.

    One of the best ideas to get priced out from modular manufacturer is tell us your “Floor Plan” for probably estimate cost.

    Founder and CEO
    Lifesbox Modular Buildings Thailand.

  11. Matthew Stannard November 18, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Agreed, whats included and not included in costs per square foot can make a difference of 100% or more. Factors to consider are Utilities, transport,installation, engineering, Architectural fees, permits etc.

    Depending on where Modules are sited they can be no less expensive or up to 25% less expensive.

    Matthew Stannard
    Founder and CEO
    Stillwater Dwellings

  12. myrightfoot November 17, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    I certainly love the concept and look of this modular home. But, I have lots of doubt about how “affordable” it really is. Everytime I look into these types of “low-cost” modular homes it turns out that the land, foundation and building permits are not included in the square foot calculations. I’m sure $100 sf seems like a great deal on the surface, but with all the other necessary costs this unit could be well above $500 sf. That still might be great in NYC and SF, but everywhere else that might be very expensive.

    Keep these great ideas coming though. We love it.

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