Italian Green Frame Home Explores Sustainable Container Housing

by , 09/30/10

green frame house, green design, sustainable architecture, shipping containers, shipping container house

Green Frame House by Studio Astori De Ponti Associati was led by architects Antonia Astori, Nicola De Ponti and Ester Pirotta, who worked in collaboration with Art Container. The two story home is composed of six standard containers configured in a staggered stack to add variation to the design. Holes for the floor to ceiling windows are cut out of the sides of the containers and even the large cargo doors are used on one end as an entrance.

The design calls for a solar photovoltaic system on the roof of the house along with a small-scale wind turbine to produce renewable energy for the home. As the home was built inside a warehouse and hasn’t seen the light of day, unfortunately those systems didn’t really get tested out. Additionally, a number of energy efficient materials from DuPont were supplied for use in the construction of the house. Specifically, they used Tyvek HomeWrap, Tyvek Enercor Wall, which is another permeable membrane and radiant barrier and Energain panels that act as thermal mass for the building.

The modestly sized home is only 140 sq meters (1,500 sq ft) and was built to explore sustainable design and construction. Astori De Ponti Associati’s Green Frame House came “about from a meeting between ideas and dreams: the dream to restore life, meaning and utility to the container, understood as an abandoned object, and the idea of experimenting with a sustainability by defining forms for consolidated dwelling starting from an industrial module.”

+ Green Frame House

Via Jetson Green and ArchiPortal

Related Posts


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Brian Smith November 24, 2013 at 3:30 am

    “the dream to restore life, meaning and utility to the container, understood as an abandoned object, and the idea of experimenting with a sustainability by defining forms for consolidated dwelling starting from an industrial module.”

    What a blatant load of first-year design school gibberish. concocted to make an utterly cold and lifeless habitat seem like a good thing. The perfect vision of industrial sterility. Very 1970s.

    “… experimenting with a sustainability…” Really? Nothing sustainable in evidence here. Nothing green. Nothing flows. Nothing is warm. Just a lot of unrelated, cool/cold, black & white off-the-shelf interior elements slapped together.

    Sorry, but shipping containers never had “life and meaning” that you can restore. Lipstick on a pig is famously in error. Lets make friendly habitats out of shipping containers if we must, because they can be inexpensive. Pretending the result has to reflect a taste for expensive industrial modernism to be appealing is, well, an astoundingly stupid and unimaginative starting point. Design for design’s sake that pretends to be more goes back a long way. Think living systems, then you might contribute something useful in a dying world.

  2. john simmis November 16, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    If you are considering modular or prefab home, or looking for an alternative to high cost construction, 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.

  3. evilbassoonist October 17, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Green housing isn\\\’t hard and it doesn\\\’t take an architect to design it or fancy technology. The hard part is persuading westerners they can live comfortably without all the shit they think they need to keep up with the neighbours.

  4. tedthorsen October 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    that is a really cool idea. i especially like the idea of the shipping containers that SullyKay mentioned. on a recent trip to the Caribbean for a vacation. i saw a house made out of old plastic shipping containers. I mean its not a good thing to live in but i thought it was inventive.

    here is a good site to find plastic shipping containers at ted thorsen material handling

  5. Cité a Docks: 100 Dorm... October 5, 2010 at 9:47 am

    […] the boxes right on top of one another, they staggered them and left alternating areas between containers empty so that they act as walkways and […]

  6. SullyKay October 3, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    I like exploring these concepts but I don’t think this would be a good concept for mass produced houses. Metal is a poor choice for a building shell due to its high conductivity, compounded by the use of floor to ceiling windows. Also, unless they plan to use discarded shipping containers (presumably discarded for a reason) it’s unlikely that the energy cost of the construction of the containers would compare favorably to other choices.

  7. afrand October 3, 2010 at 7:51 am

    i am an Iranian architect and we have an architecture studio. Can you please helo us? we are
    searching for new materials who are using in interior design.
    it is not possible for us to travel far.Now i want you to help us and introduce new materials and
    tell us how we can find them? do they delegate us? tnx. all the best.
    our website:
    email us :

  8. gerbenvandijk October 1, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Awesome house, would really love to live in a space like this! Curious to what the cost of one of these will be 😀

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home