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Coming home to a shipping container

Coming home to a shipping container

Tim Steele stood outside a pair of orange shipping containers on a hillside about two hours northwest of New York. The large metal cargo door swung wide to reveal a small mudroom inside the corrugated walls, and beyond that an expansive living room, kitchen and small bathroom. Several tall windows looked out on the Catskill Mountains, a vista that stretched for miles.

The rooms inside these shipping containers might easily be mistaken for those inside any of the timber-framed homes in the hillside country here. In the kitchen, one wall exposed the bright orange corrugated surface of the Corten steel container, but elsewhere evidence of the structure’s origins was scant.

“You’re constructing something that we associate with the most stable thing in our lives,” said Steele, founder of Steele House, a firm that designs and builds container structures. “It is why we leave the container exposed — it creates tension between movement and stability.”

This particular container home, in Sullivan County, belongs to Robyn Volker, 57, and her wife, Anke Irmscher, 54. And the container was not orange when they went with Steele to pick it out, but as Volker said, “If you’re going to do this thing, you might as well announce it’s a container.”

Building with shipping containers is not exactly new, but until recently it has not been exactly mainstream either. Now, though, it is becoming a lot more popular, as eco-friendly practices begin to influence market trends.   Source: Bangkok Post