Dezeen Magazine

Interior image of a bedroom at The Container House

RSDA repurposes shipping containers to form home on Indian farm

Rakhee Shobhit Design Associates has used shipping containers to create two residential units at either end of a farmland site in the Aravalli hills near Udaipur, India.

The Container House was commissioned as a countryside escape for the client and his family, who wanted to leave the city during the coronavirus pandemic to feel closer to nature.

Exterior image of The Container House from its garden
RSDA has designed two residential units made from shipping containers

Indian practice Rakhee Shobhit Design Associates (RSDA) responded by repurposing old shipping containers to quickly create a series of bright living spaces that would provide an "escape from reality" with minimal impact on the landscape.

"The Container House does not conform to conventional residential design ideas," said the practice.

"Instead, it employs industrial materials as the exoskeleton to create a homely, cosy setting with a spatial dialogue between the interiors and the surroundings."

Image of the exterior of The Container House with views to a gym suite
The larger unit has its own gym

"As an attempt to be mindful of resource consumption and ecology in a highly modernised world, this distinctive dwelling redefines consumption in real estate by being made up entirely of shipping containers," the studio added.

The Container House is comprised of two structures – named Champa and Chameli in tribute to the family's two dogs – which are positioned at opposite ends of the site to provide each with a sense of privacy.

Image of a deck area that is covered by a wooden roof at The Container House
Woven bamboo roofs shelter both units' decked wooden terraces

Champa, the larger of the two units, was created for the client's mother using five containers of eight by 20 feet. The smaller Chameli was created by combining two containers measuring eight by 40 feet.

Both units were raised fifteen inches above the ground to mitigate the risk of flooding, and structurally reinforced and insulated in order to insert large areas of glazing. Their exteriors were finished in green to blend in with the surrounding landscape.

For the smaller Chameli unit, RSDA created a more open layout with a living area on one side and a bedroom and bathroom on the other, separated by a kitchen with a suspended fireplace.

In Champa, a more traditional layout sees the bedroom, living room, kitchen and a small gym separated by wooden partition walls.

Interior image of a living space at The Container House
Five shipping containers were used to build the larger of the two homes

The full-height windows in both units incorporate sliding doors, opening onto decked wooden terraces that are sheltered from sun and rain by woven bamboo roofs.

"A minimalist interior palette echoes the concept of modularity while being inviting and clean-lined," said the practice.

"Expansive glass walls framed with insulated aluminium open up the facade to accentuate the inside-outside connection and maximise the views."

Interior image of a kitchen area at the shipping container home
The smaller unit features a suspended fireplace

Shipping containers are often used as a way of building quickly and economically.

Other recent projects making use of shipping containers include a portable home in Poland and an entertainment complex in Austin, Texas.

Photography is by Andre J. Fanthome, Naughts & Crosses.

More images

Plan of The Container House
Plan of The Container House
Site plan of The Container House
Site plan
RSDA repurposes shipping containers for home on an Indian farm
RSDA repurposes shipping containers for home on an Indian farm
RSDA repurposes shipping containers for home on an Indian farm
RSDA repurposes shipping containers for home on an Indian farm