Ali Kriscenski

PREFAB FRIDAY: Linx Shipping Container Shelter

by , 12/07/07

Linx, Richard Barnwall, prefabricated housing, modular architecture, material reuse, shipping container, Dublin , Ireland, linx_1.jpg

Dublin-based industrial designer Richard Barnwall has mastered the concept of temporary container shelter in Linx – an integrated, two-story structure that maximizes use of small spaces. Using 20-foot shipping containers, Barnwall’s idea provides functional shelter for workers on a construction site offering all the amenities needed to give workers a comfortable place for pause.


Often this type of container reuse is challenged by how to handle egress, and, usually, passages are external to the building. Barnwall’s design builds in an access module that allows entry to all spaces, including the roof, and provides storage for mechanical systems.

Office work space, kitchen, dining area, showers, and toilets are all given ample room in the modular cabins. Sliding panels provide light and ventilation throughout. Even though designed as an accessory building for work sites, it’s easy to imagine the Linx’s layout reconfigured for permanent housing – rooftop garden anyone?

+ Linx by Richard Barnwall

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8 Comments

  1. Johnevans7 March 27, 2009 at 6:09 am

    The idea of a 20 year old container being converted into living accommodation, is disgusting both aesthetically and health wise (toxic substances are used in the manufacture of most ISO containers).

    Look at some the beautiful settings where these crates have been dumped. If they seem incongruous now, imagine 10 years on, in a \’tired\’ condition and covered in scabby rust and leaking!

    How long before the sobriquet \’Container Trash\’ replaces \’Trailer Trash\’..

    Container factories are prefabricating complete, reasonable looking Hotel structures, but most people don\’t want to live in a Hotel.

    I have yet to see a container \’house\’ I would choose to live in, unlike the prefab I grew up in as a child.

    The Linx Shelter is a neat design, which would be great for housing students, prisoners and project workers, but I wouldn\’t want one as my next door neighbor.

  2. Guy December 13, 2007 at 12:14 am

    Doobie, the secret ingredient in Coca Cola is raisin syrup. I taste it every time.

  3. Dustin December 12, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    You realize that this is just his presentation board from his last year in school, right? A great project, but not a reality I don’t think.

  4. Doobie December 11, 2007 at 11:47 am

    While you are at it, send Embry the recipe for Coca Cola, your bank account statement and your social security number. Ooy-vey!

  5. Gavin Embry December 8, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    We wouild like to get involved. Please send as much information as you can: Prices, and technical details.

  6. Kim December 8, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Great to see a practical solution to using all of these leftover containers that are incredibly strong and underused once their shipping life is passed. I see this being used for far more than construction trailers – a simple and elegant solution to the double story access –the old bi-level residential access trick. These would be far better than those FEMA trailers – as these could easily stand up to hurricane force winds while the trailers would get ripped apart.

  7. Jones December 8, 2007 at 2:56 am

    Rob: I agree. Every architect under the sun has a “container” house design… “if only I could get it built” seems to be the motto of all these dreamers. I did see a project in Redondo Beach, California that was trick. That is the only architecture firm that seems to get anything built from containers and they have more on the way!

  8. Rob December 7, 2007 at 11:05 am

    Seriously, these shipping container buildings are getting extremely boring. They’ve been bodged around on building sites for years. Perhaps architects could learn from some other form of mass production now.

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