The Shipping Container Home At Home In The Woods

Think those old steel shipping containers can’t pull off the rustic look? Take a look at Six Oaks, a recycled shipping container home (which comes to us via Inhabitat) tucked away in the forested mountains outside of Santa Cruz, Calif. This home, designed by San Jose-based Modulus, is a true forest getaway combining eco-modernity with with rustic flair.

Though its boxy, red shape may stand out against the background of green foliage surrounding it, this 1,200-square-foot home actually speaks to the history of the site as the area surrounding an old railroad line. The shipping containers here are lined up and stacked like so many old boxcars to form an architectural statement that’s as intriguing from within as it is from without.

Six Oaks, Modulus

image via Inhabitat

The overriding theme here was “essentialism,” and the home accordingly eschews waste in terms of its form, function, materials, budget and aesthetics. But don’t let that fool you into thinking it comes up short in any of these respects. This forest retreat contains all the comforts of home, intelligently arranged and beautifully presented. Every aspect of it — including the bed, kitchen, stairwell, bridge, and outdoor enclosure areas —  is filled with natural day light and envisioned as presenting opportunities to “learn, play, live, and dream.”

Six Oaks, Interior

image via Modulus

By using shipping containers for its essential structure, the home works with existing materials in a way that significantly lessens its environmental impact. Likewise, the home was designed to work with the topography of the home site by using employing a bridge as an entrance, significantly lessening its impact on the ecosystem of the surrounding forest. The overall effect is both modern and rustic, a shipping container home that’s at home in the woods.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.