When Oakland designer and builder Stephen Schoup's firm, building Lab inc, grew too big for his old backyard workshop, he thought long and hard on how to increase his workspace in a sustainable way. After much deliberation, he settled on an L-shaped shipping container office space where he could incorporate many of the leftover materials and supplies he had laying around. The newly created backyard office balances the warehouse-style home and creates a charming courtyard in between.
Schoup brought in two shipping containers and placed them together in an L-shape to create a permeable courtyard, which opened up the space up to the surrounding views and the sun.
He and his wife planted a row of bamboo along the eastern edge of the property to give the space definition and block the views towards their neighbor's house.
The containers were placed on pier foundations, a far simpler and less resource-intensive process as compared with standard foundation.
The exterior of the containers were insulated and clad in cement board siding, salvaged lumber from deconstruction and leftover redwood siding to create a warm look. The structure was also painted to match the exterior of the house.
Energy efficient lighting and windows provide lighting for the interior, which was finished with Homasote (recycled newspaper) panels instead of drywall.
Schoup made good use of leftover and extra materials he had laying around from other jobs, rather than buying brand new materials. The floors were finished off with sustainably harvested cork flooring.
The new container office creates a charming courtyard with permeable paving materials.
The large lot and home/work space is now complete.
A view off the back deck into the home's kitchen.
Previously Schoup had already remodeled his home into a beautiful two bedroom residence for his family.
The large, bright, white kitchen space.
The master bedroom with built in storage and a raised platform bed.
A layout of the home and the backyard office.