Improved housing could soon be coming to Pachacutec, a dusty shantytown on the outskirts of Lima. Peruvian architectural practice TRS Studio has proposed low-cost cargotecture dwellings that not only are sensitive to the local vernacular, but also offer improved comfort and safety as compared to existing housing. The single-family homes would be made from shipping containers and recycled materials, including oriented strand board, wooden planks and polycarbonate panels.

cargotecture modular home on a grassy hill

For the marginalized populations living in the “Pesquero II” settlement of Pachacutec, education and basic services can be difficult to obtain. A stable and comfortable house could give families greater stability and empower them to improve their living conditions. Thus, TRS Studio designed cargotecture housing adaptable to different family situations and would be built with community participation to give inhabitants a greater sense of ownership over their homes.

Related: Is cargotecture the future of construction? What you need to know for your next project

cargotecture modular home on a grassy hill
cargotecture modular home

Each modular house consists of two floors. The first floor comprises the main living areas, including a kitchenette, as well as the master bedroom in the rear and an 18-square-meter space for a side garden or flexible recreational space. The second floor houses two additional bedrooms and a study that could be converted into a fourth bedroom. The natural finish of the construction materials would be left exposed yet reinforced for long-term durability. The shipping container frame, for instance, would be reinforced with steel columns, while unpainted OSB boards would be used for dividing walls. Recycled polycarbonate roofing would let in plenty of natural light indoors.

cargotecture modular home
cargotecture modular home on a grassy hill

“The construction in the first habitable modules will have educational purposes; we will have with the experience in this project, an exponential training in the construction process of the following habitable modules, helping to the future replicas will be even more effectives,” say the architects.

interior of modular home with wood interior and walls with bright colored furniture
interior of modular home with wood interior and walls with bright colored furniture

“A fundamental aspect in this experience will be the change in the urban image of Pachacutec city, as a demonstrative zone in the field of sustainable construction in the long run, this differential implies that they will have formed in this district entrepreneurial people of the self-built sustainable architecture with the ability to teach other members of their community and to provide their services in other districts. Then, the attention will not be only in the project as architectural design, but also in the formation of future and sustainable constructors, improving their quality life and strengthening their values.”

+ TRS Studio

Images via TRS Studio