It’s hard to contain one’s enthusiasm for DeMaria Design’s Redondo Beach House. The home, constructed with a combination of prefabricated shipping containers and traditional buildings materials, is a stunning beachfront residence. It is the first in a line of homes that will be available from DeMaria Design’s “packaged architecture” affiliate, Logical Homes. DeMaria has said that he considers shipping containers the icons of the global age: “stacked containers create a powerful imagery on the landscape.” With that, we can certainly expect to see more recycled shipping container architecture to come from this Manhattan Beach-based design studio.
The house is made up of eight containers of varying sizes bound together by conventional building methods. The metal container walls define service spaces while wood and steel frame the living spaces, including an artist’s studio, master bedroom, and spacious living room with 20-foot ceilings. A smartly placed below grade container forms a swimming pool. Doors and windows are cut through the walls, but beyond that no effort is made to conceal the industrial aesthetic of the containers.
What, you may ask, is environmentally friendly about this home besides giving the ubiquitous shipping container a second life as part of a luxury home? The prefabricated nature of the containers allows 70% of construction to occur off site, greatly reducing construction waste. The resulting home is also extremely strong, mold-free, and fire- and termite-proof. This particular home also features prefabricated metal roof panels, multi-skinned acrylic sheets, formaldehyde-free plywood, natural ventilation instead of air conditioning, and efficient tank-less hot water heaters.
While it’s not exactly affordable right now, at $125 per square foot, the hope is that as “packaged architecture” catches on, Logical Homes will be able to make custom design available at production prices and really rock suburbia. For now, DeMaria Designs is working on a community center and a mixed-use multifamily project, both made entirely out of shipping containers.