A couple in St. Charles, Illinois has built a 3,200 square foot home constructed out of four shipping containers. What did the neighbors think?
“In the beginning, people just didn’t understand it, and no one 100 percent supported it. But as it progressed, a lot of those people who were hesitant about it started to come on board and see it for what it was, and not just an extravagant trash can,” said Stephanie, the mother of two…
“It’s a custom home. These aren’t cookie-cutter homes. So even if we build another one next week, it will not be the same, and no one else has this home. Even though there are people that say, ‘I don’t know if I’d ever live in one,’ they say, ‘I like what you’ve done.’”…
Clark said his wife didn’t want to mask the unique aesthetics of the containers. The city and the Evans went back and forth with suggestions, requests and recommendations until they arrived at the current design…
One hang-up: Not all associations and subdivisions allow container homes, according to Clark. But the couple hopes that the more common alternative housing becomes, the better received container homes will be.
The home as depicted in the Chicago Tribune:
The home is certainly unique. The article leads with this idea: “Goodbye cookie-cutter. So long McMansion. Out with formulaic, in with customization.”
Teardown McMansions are often criticized for not fitting in with the architecture of the neighborhood in which they are built. This container home also does not fit with what is visible of the surrounding architecture. Would the typical suburbanite rather live next to an oversized and architecturally dubious teardown McMansion or an architecturally unique home made of shipping containers?
I would guess the McMansion would be more palatable to a number of suburban residents. Even though McMansions may not match the architecture of the styles they are trying to imitate or they may be a mishmash of styles, they are often (not always) built in somewhat traditional styles. The container home goes for a modern look: boxy, clean lines, different colors, a completely different shape than many suburban homes. Some uniqueness in suburban homes might be okay but this is something totally different. I have argued before Americans prefer McMansions to modernist homes. Perhaps the fact that this modernist home is built of recycled shipping containers helps since the home can be considered greener.
I do not think this housing design is one that will spread like wildfire through suburban residential neighborhoods.