My first year as a postgraduate student in Holland was spent in a container. That’s right. A regular, 40ft, 30m2 shipping container. Fully equipped, sustainable and heated though! Row upon row, stacked upon each other, dozens of containers became what we’d call home for an entire year. 2008 to 2009 this is where we celebrated, we cried, we struggled, stayed awake at nights, shared beers and cigarettes on the balconies and the green uncomfortable chairs, loved and broke up, and studied and studied and studied and we confronted ourselves. That container was my home for a year, more than any four wall brick house could ever dream to be.
Interestingly enough, I found a mention of “Amsterdam container homes” with a picture of our complex, right here.
For those who wonder what it looked like on the inside, this is the floorplan of the type of containers we stayed in:
The front part at the entrance is a floor-to-ceiling glass window and door, and the first room is the “living room” and the kitchen/small storage. There is a small bathroom right in the middle, and right behind this is the bedroom/study and a small balcony. The other end of the container is also a top-to-bottom glass window, so maximum light could reach the appartment from both sides.
Below is a design I had created for a bunch of t-shirts for all of us, that were never realised however due to our meagre student budget. Hopefully, one day soon I’ll be able to make and mail them to each one of my container neighbours!
This is how our Bergwikdreef neighbourhood looked like from my house:
After a night of furious mini-ping-pong at my place:
(Bergwijkdreef possee: I miss you guys. I really do.)
Inside view of me studying
A view of the interior on the first day of school!
And here is some more information regarding shipping container homes, an idea which becomes more and more appealing to me by the day, seeing as the prices in construction have been increasing exponentially over the last few years. Why not just buy a recycled and fully customisable container and install it on a plot of land, throw some solar panels and a water supply (or drill a well and install the respective filters - I’m sure there is the right technology out there although I cannot name it right now) and be entirely self sufficient?
- Here are some fine examples of shipping container homes at Busyboo
- My most favorite link, however, is the one at earthsci which shows how to build a wonderful multipurpose container home from scratch!