The Container Guest House is the first of several projects by Poteet Architects we will be featuring. As a national award-winning firm, Poteet Architects is best known for their sensitive adaptive reuse of existing buildings and a fresh, rigorous approach to modern interior design. This project originated from Poteet Architects’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: San Antonio, 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
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.
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.