Homebox is a radical concept inspired by cargotecture that involves literally flipping a shipping container on its side. Professor Han Slawik of the University of Hanover loves the concept of building with shipping containers, but thinks they have a limited potential and are costly to modify or repair. So he came up with a wooden version with the same dimensions, but rotated it from horizontal to vertical. The result is a three-story house with a tiny footprint that can be moved with the same transport system of shipping containers and be used as emergency, temporary or permanent housing.
Han Slawik based his Homebox on the shipping container model for its transport capabilities, universal dimensions and usefulness. But at the same time, wear, repair and maintenance of steel materials is costly, not to mention living in a steel box isn’t very cozy. Slawik wanted to create a housing concept using the best parts of cargotecture — but he wanted to be able to modify it easier, make it more efficient and make it more comfortable for the resident. Homebox has the same dimensions as a international standardized shipping container, but it’s designed to sit vertically rather than horizontally.
Homebox is a three-story home with a kitchen/dining/toilet room on the ground floor, a bedroom on the next and a living space on the top floor. This top floor is the most private and secluded and also has access to the best sunlight. In total, the whole home has only 14 square meters (150 square feet) of living space and sits on just a 7-square-meter footprint. It’s tiny, and unfortunately about 1/4 of the space is taken up with stairs to access the different levels.
But what it looses for sake of its compact design, it gains in the ability to be useful for a number of applications. Because of its dimensions Homebox can easily be transported using standard trucks and global shipping methods. It can easily fit into small spaces, unused land, alleys or even parking lots. Multiple Homeboxes could be grouped together to form a mini city or could be used by individuals who need to be on the move and want to take their house with them. The Homebox concept, while probably not suitable for more than two people, is a fascinating study in thinking outside the box.
Images ©Prof. Han Slawik