Shipping Container Home or Desert Flower?

In the Californian desert, Whitaker Studio’s Joshua Tree Residence takes the architecture of a shipping container to the next level. 



The structure is laid out in a starburst of containers, each oriented differently in order to maximise natural light, views, or to create privacy.  Situated on a 90-acre plot owned by a Los Angeles-based film producer, the house is a reconfiguration of a concept by Whitaker Studio. It was initially meant for an office building in Germany that was never accomplished.

The concept was transported to the desert site, with rocky outcropping and jutting rocks. The idea was to have the shipping container’s “exoskeleton” on a concrete plinth, allowing the water from a small gully to continue to pass through. Plans for the home (200 sqm!) include a kitchen, living room, dining area and three bedrooms. Each room is angled to have large amounts of natural light. As an extension to the house, two containers merge to meet the natural topography whilst creating a shielded outdoor area with a wooden deck and hot tub.

In terms of colour scheme, the exterior and interior surfaces will be painted white to reflect light from the scorching desert sun. The garage located nearby will be cladded with solar panels, in order to provide power and electricity to the house.

Although construction is set to begin next year, the original office design will be exhibited at the National Maritime Museum of Australia starting October 26th!

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