Container Guest House / Poteet Architects

  • 14 Apr 2011
  • Houses Selected Works
© Chris Cooper

The Container Guest House is the first of several projects by Poteet Architects we will be featuring. As a national award-winning firm, is best known for their sensitive adaptive reuse of existing buildings and a fresh, rigorous approach to modern interior design. This project originated from ’s client’s wish to experiment with shipping containers. She lives in a small warehouse on a former industrial site just south of downtown. The finished project serves as a guesthouse and is fitted with a shower/WC and a custom stainless sink. The large steel and glass lift/slide and end window wall open the interior to the surrounding landscape. The remainder of the interior is used as a garden shed.

Architect: Poteet Architects
Location: , Texas, USA
Project Team: Jim Poteet, Brett Freeman, Isadora Sintes, Shane Valentine
Contractor: Poteet Architects
Project Area: 320 sqf
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Chris Cooper

© Chris Cooper

The emphasis was on sustainable strategies– first, the recycling of a “one-way” container for a new and permanent use. The planted roof is held off the container top, providing shade and air-flow to reduce heat gain. The interior is insulated with spray foam then lined with bamboo plywood, equally appropriate for the floor as the walls. The grey water from the sink and shower is captured for roof irrigation. The WC is a composting toilet. The rear of the container is screened by wire mesh panels which will eventually be covered in evergreen vines.

© Chris Cooper

Other innovative material choices informed the design: the container “floats” on a foundation of recycled telephone poles. The deck is made up of HVAC equipment pads (made of recycled soda bottles) set in a steel frame. The exterior light fixtures are blades from a tractor disc plow—a common sight in south Texas.

© Chris Cooper
© Chris Cooper
© Chris Cooper
© Chris Cooper
site plan
Cite: "Container Guest House / Poteet Architects" 14 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 Sep 2014. <>


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    I’d like to see something like this sent over to Haiti. If you could somehow break down the container into smaller volumes, perhaps you can fit them inside another container, or have 10 of these houses take up the space on one container.

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    Hi, I love it! A great way to recycle those huge empty steel boxes.

    But please tell me – is its structural strength and integrity sufficient for transportation – esp. when being craned on/off vehicles?
    Are you selling them? If so, how much for?
    Keep up the good work, Good luck!
    Geoff Dunn (Liverpool, UK)

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    What?s Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It positively helpful and it has helped me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & help different customers like its aided me. Good job.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Harika bir tasarım.Mukemel bir işçilik izlemi veriyor.Yaşanası bir yer.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    How does the shower/WC work? Is the shower area behind the toilet and the toilet also gets wet?

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    My husband and I are very interested in building a home with multiple containers in Las Vegas. There does not appear to be any container homes here. Would you be able to get building permits here?

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    How deliteful! How refreshing! How intelligent! What a relief from all the other bloated fat-cat egomania!

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