Two years ago 6sqft reported on the rise of a singular single-family residence on a Williamsburg corner lot; the amazing townhouse was built from 21 steel shipping containers, tamed and transformed into a sleek and surprisingly livable home by the architecture and design firm LOT-EK for the Brooklyn couple behind neighborhood barbecue favorite Fette Sau. If you’ve always wanted to live in the 25-by-100-foot, 5,000-square-foot home at 2 Monitor Street, now’s your chance; the house just hit the market for $5.5 million.
Photo via Contanium listing on Airbnb
Just think if it as a Vipp Shelter for the rest of us. This woodsy take on the tiny dwelling, “Contanium,” available through Airbnb and situated in Saugerties, NY, is actually a shipping container, so you get to experience the trifecta of tiny house, off-the-grid living and inhabiting a shipping container, all at once. Offerings at this particular shipping container cabin sound almost like the amenities menu at a trendy Downtown condo: There’s a wood stove, sofa bed, kitchenette, writing desk, record player, patio, fire ring, yoga platform, hot tub and hammock. The off-the-grid part means the power is solar, there’s a composting toilet and gravity-feed water.
Shipping container construction, courtesy SG Blocks
A developer is getting creative in his latest affordable housing project in the Bronx. Gold Key Group, which typically develops market-rate housing, teamed up with SG Blocks, a shipping container company, to build 65 to 75 apartments above a retail store and a church. SG Blocks will use shipping containers due to the affordability and quick construction time–the method cuts the building timeline by 40 percent and is 10 to 20 percent less expensive than typical construction, according to Paul Galvin, CEO of SG Blocks. And as amNew York reports, Galvin “hopes this type of construction will become a solution to the housing crisis.”
After completing architecture school at Universita’ di Napoli, Italy, Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano fell in love with New York City, deciding in 1995 to establish an innovative firm in Manhattan called LOT-EK. Early experiments in the art world grew into a substantial architecture practice, but their philosophy has always been the same: Both Ada and Giuseppe are focused on a concept they call “up-cycling,” taking existing objects and elevating them through art, design, and architecture. The firm has done its most innovative work re-using shipping containers and received a wave of attention this year for a Brooklyn residential project that utilized 21 shipping containers in surprising, stunning ways.
The firm has just released its second monograph, LOT-EK: Objects and Operations, a photo-heavy showcase of dozens of projects the firm produced around the world over the past 15 years. “LOT-EK is a design practice that believes in being unoriginal, ugly, and cheap,” the book states. “Also in being revolutionary, gorgeous, and completely luxurious.” With 6sqft, co-founder Giuseppe Lignano talks about the early days of running a firm and waiting tables in 1990s New York, explains the firm’s philosophy behind sustainability and re-use, and discusses the inspiration behind their notable Williamsburg project.
When MB Architecture‘s client requested an art studio near her Amagansett home, she had three requirements–a roughly 900-square foot space, a simple structure that was still “inviting and reflective,” and a limited budget. To achieve these goals, the firm decided to use two recycled shipping containers, about $2,500 each.
It would hardly raise an eyebrow to note that the Brooklyn couple behind the wildly popular Williamsburg barbecue joint Fette Sau hired an architect to build them a 25-by-100-foot home on a corner lot in the neighborhood. But in this case, the architects are Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano of the firm LOT-EK, which means the house in question is likely to cause at least a few double-takes. Rising from that corner lot, this remarkable single-family residence was made from 21 steel shipping containers, tamed and transformed into a sleek and surprisingly livable home.
When college students arrive to the big city they often bring with them dreams of glamorous apartments, but they soon get hit the reality of a cramped dorm room covered by student loans or an awkward apartment shared with several strangers. Over in Denmark, where 40,000 beds are needed to accommodate an exploding student population, Kim Loudrup realized the enormity of the student housing shortage (inventory and affordability) and partnered with the country’s prodigal son Bjarke Ingels on a new, sustainable student housing design made from floating shipping containers. Called Urban Rigger, they hope this modular idea can extend to other waterfront cities and even solve other housing problems like the refugee crisis.
There’s plenty of cool shipping container architecture that’s popped up around the city in recent years, from a retrofitted carriage house to the home of a radio station. But the title of first (legal) home built entirely of recycled containers goes to this architectural gem in Williamsburg, made of six stacked containers totaling 1,600 square feet. The lovely, 320-square-foot ground-floor apartment is now up for rent through Airbnb for a surprisingly affordable $96/night.
File this under kooky design schemes that actually work. Inhabitat NYC profiled a Clinton Hill carriage house completely transformed by a shipping container tower built inside. The homeowners, artist Markus Linnenbrink and art dealer Cindy Rucker, were on the hunt for an architect who could renovate with as many sustainable elements as possible. They picked the design firm LOT-EK due to their specialty in shipping container buildings. The result? A container tower that serves as the core of this retrofitted carriage house, and many more repurposed details throughout.
An independent online radio featuring live DJ sets, located in a shipping container on an empty piece of land on the Williamsburg/Greenpoint border — if your inclination is to roll your eyes at just how Brooklyn this is, you might want to reconsider.
The Lot Radio was founded by 34-year-old Brussels native François Vaxelaire, who has been living in the neighborhood for the past three years. After passing by the vacant triangle day after day, and growing more and more infatuated with its strange beauty, he decided it would be the perfect home for an online radio similar to those in Europe. And after getting through the city’s red tape, Lot Radio is officially up and running, save for its adjacent coffee shop and outdoor seating area that are both awaiting permits from the Department of Health.
What’s most interesting about Vaxelaire is that he is committed to steering clear of the Brooklyn cliches. His goal is to grow an internationally focused, New York-based radio, but in terms of the physical location, he wants local residents exiting the nearby church to feel just as welcome hanging out as would an experimental music aficionado. 6sqft recently visited him at the shipping container to learn more about this very unique idea.