The current penchant for converting shipping containers into domiciles continues with this strangely attractive Texas playhouse, guesthouse and garden retreat in San Antonio by Jim Poteet of Poteet Architects, LP. Shipping containers are a readily available resource thanks to their abandonment at seaports. It’s often cheaper for companies to simply buy a new container than ship an empty one home, so thousands languish in sprawling container storage facilities around harbors throughout the world.
Texas architect Jim Poteet designed this structure for artist Stacey Hill as part of her garden ensemble at her artists’ community home.
Stacey picked this particular container because of its color, which she kept as is. Jim added a large set of sliding doors, windows, a heating and AC system, and bathroom facilities including a composting toilet. An attached patio forms a pleasant area to sit in nice weather, and a cantilevered overhang provides shade to the window of a garden equipment storage room at one end of the container, which retains its original access doors.
The structure is mounted on a base of recycled telephone poles. The floor and walls are covered in the environmental movement’s favorite wood, bamboo.
Probably the most interesting feature is the rooftop garden, which is fed by a drip-watering system installed by Jon Ahrens of Madrone Landscape Architecture, cutting down the maintenance required for obvious, precarious reasons.
The 8’x4’ bathroom contains the Sun-Mar electric composting toilet and an open shower, and features a non-slip epoxy floor and red sheet metal coated walls.
Stacey describes her garden addition: “The container, as we call it, is a great escape for me because the space is pure, uncluttered, wonderfully sunlit, quiet and has a great view of my garden.” She goes on to add: “My two young daughters love it because it’s practically an empty box ready to play, create and pretend in.”
Jim Poteet says: “They use it as a summer house, an art house, and for entertaining; they set up and have dinner on the deck there, adjunct to Stacey’s main house.”