In the past we took a brief look at Containers of Hope during our feature on shipping container homes, but this remarkable project by Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture definitely deserves more attention. Built on a budget of just $40,000, this creative dwelling allowed the Peralta family to live debt free in their ideal setting: surrounded by fields, their horses, and just 20 minutes from San Jose, Costa Rica.
The structure is composed of two shipping containers that are raised above the ground by some sturdy concrete column foundations which give the dwelling a sense of permanence. The containers were arranged parallel to one another and then shifted horizontally to form a more dynamic floor plan and maximise the views over the surrounding landscape.
Living in a metal and glass house in a tropical climate might sound quite uncomfortable but this shipping container home makes use of a highly effective cross ventilation system which passively cools the house. In fact Benjamin Garcia Saxe claims that the family ‘never have to turn the air conditioning on.’ The angled roof section works in a similar way to cooling systems found on certain caravans and makes use of cross winds to draw out warm air as it rises.
To continue the thriftily sustainable theme of Containers of Hope, this angled roof section is made up of the metal sheeting that was cut out of the walls of the shipping containers to make space for the windows. It’s intelligent, well-thought-out design measures such as this that enabled Benjamin Garcia Saxe to design this housing solution with the extraordinarly low budget of $40,000.
Sure the dollar would go further on a build on Costa Rica, and the family constructed the shipping container as a self-build, but this is even cheaper than the cost of social housing in Costa Rica and I should imagine provides a living environment of a much higher standard.
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