WFH House incorporates shipping containers into a modular building system


February 25, 2013

WFH House by Danish architectural studio Arcgency, incorporates the use of recycled shipping containers into a modular building system.

WFH House by Danish architectural studio Arcgency, incorporates the use of recycled shipping containers into a modular building system.

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It’s no surprise to see the popularity of shipping container homes increase in recent times, especially when architects just keep getting more and more creative with what they can do with them. Adding to the list of innovative shipping container homes is the prefabricated WFH House, which incorporates the use of recycled shipping containers into a modular building system. Designed by Danish architectural studio Arcgency, the home is also coupled with a online personalization system that allows clients to customize their own home, including its layout, size, facade and interior.

The 180 square meter (1,937 sq. ft.) WFH House features a predefined framework, which the architects claim ensures the use of quality materials, while also maintaining architectural integrity. Two rows of recycled shipping containers are stacked on top of one another, creating a multi-level home filled with high ceilings, open space and an abundance of natural light. The home is made up of an open living space, a kitchen that is built into the walls and four rooms that can be used as bedrooms, workspaces or recreation retreats.

The home is further characterized by its sloping south-facing green roof (or north-facing for the Southern Hemisphere), featuring solar panels and sky lights. The green roof also facilitates the collection of rainwater, which is then stored underground and used for the toilets, laundry and house cleaning. The interior walls are lined with 350 mm (13.8 inch) thick insulation and the exterior is covered with a bamboo facade.

The prefabricated WFH House module has been developed so that it can be constructed anywhere in the world, with the first house finding a home in Wuxi, China. The home can also be adapted to suit a range of climates and it can also be modified to withstand earthquakes. Final prices are to be advised per project, however, its creators claim the WFH House is designed to offer competitive prices.

Often being desirable due to their size, strength and ease of transport, shipping container conversions aren't just limited to homes. We’ve recently seen some great conversions, which include an orphanage, B&B;, visitor center, hotel, artist studio and restaurant.

Source: Arcgency via Archdaily

About the Author
Bridget Borgobello Bridget is an experienced freelance writer, presenter and performer with a keen eye for innovative design and a passion for green technology. Australian born, Bridget currently resides in Rome and when not scribbling for Gizmag, she spends her time developing new web series content and independent cinema. All articles by Bridget Borgobello

Very well done considering that they used only three shipping containers.

But I would not consider this as a prefab house because you can see from the pictures that the most work was done on the building site.

Still I consider this a very good work and well worth of coping.

Kris Lee

I'd like to see the number of containers doubles - it would be a pretty impressive size house then :)

Nathan Rees

Basically a framed out structure with 3 old rusty shipping containers stuck inside. What is the point? I have “remodeled” two shipping containers and it is a hassle to do anything with them. The vertical corrugations don’t line up, the floor structures are different, the roofs are different, and they are even a slightly different size. No fun plumbing, wiring, or installing the HVAC. What, are you going to buy new ones that are identical? And the resell value? I'm sure anyone with knowledge of building would shy away from this idea, much less be able to get a loan on it. I bet I could build the same structure they did in half the time, better and cheaper. Join the real world, just build a house.


Looks promising, but what about the cost?

Marine Insight

If you have ever walked around in one of these modular houses you would quickly realize how inefficient they are in the use of the available space. Very showy but not at alll practical and very inefficient to heat comfortably - heat rises so unless you are on the top floor there will be lots of cold zones. Radiant heating would help but this is not in the design. Stacking also requires the use of a crane and access for the crane which greatly limits where this houses can be put.

Far better would be a container that includes the interior furnishings and can be used to ship the container as a structural element and the house's interior components to a job site. Send something like that to Haiti instead of unhealthy high VOC mobile houses as was done with both Haiti and Katrina survivors.


What we need is a modular shipping container bathroom/sink unit. Everything else can be done with pallets, some canvas, and a good camp stove (they retail for about $50 each so I assume you can buy them in bulk for much less).

Charles Bosse
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