Containers of Hope / Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture

© Andres Garcia Lachner

Architects: Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture
Location: ,
Project area: 100 sqm
Project year: 2011
Photographs: Andres Garcia Lachner

© Andres Garcia Lachner

Gabriela Calvo and Marco Peralta dreamed of living in their fantastic property 20 minutes outside of the city of San Jose, Costa Rica; where they could be with their horses and enjoy the natural landscape. They made the very bold choice of exploring with me the possibility of creating a very inexpensive house made out of disregarded shipping containers that allowed them to be dept free and live the life they always dreamed of. It was important for me to provide them with the sunrise, the sunset, the spectacular views, and overall try and create a feeling of comfort and home.

© Andres Garcia Lachner

A roof between the two containers, made from the scrap pieces of metal taken to make the windows, not only creates an internal sensation of openness but also provides a cross ventilation which is surprisingly sufficient enough to never have to turn the air conditioning on.

© Andres Garcia Lachner

The final cost of the house (40,000USD) is lower than the cost of social housing provided for the poor in Costa Rica. Perhaps this project begins to expose the importance of design as a tool to provide beauty and comfort with a very low budget in the 21st century, whilst using creativity to not only redefine a scrap material such a disused shipping container, but perhaps to even show that there are viable, low cost, passive alternatives of temperature control to adapt to a very intense tropical climate.

drawing 02
© Andres Garcia Lachner

Already this proposal has began to spark a great deal of interest and could become one alternative to solve the issue of disposing of disregarded shipping containers in developing countries, as well as begin to solve the large gap which first time buyers encounter when purchasing a home.

Cite: "Containers of Hope / Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture" 07 Jul 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>
  • Patryn Hyeronimus

    great idea to change low cost concept into a design one .

    love it.

  • iRIO

    40,000USD!? just for a couple rusty high cubes.. and you call it cheap construction.. ha-ha

    • iRIO

      nice project anyway

  • Chris

    40k translates to 40 bucks a square foot – that’s far below dirt cheap here in the states and would seem about right for CR.

    Nicely finished, looks very livable. Kinda wondering why the windows are oriented to let in western light? Hmm

  • Rodolfo Franco

    jajajajaja se parece mucho a un proyecto que puse en marcha hace como 2 años… pero tiene su toque personal muy interesante… muy buen proyecto!!! :D

    • Edith Vargas

      estimado senor estoy haciendo una busqueda de casas container en Costa Rica, pero de bajo presupuesto, todo lo que he encontrado es para la clase media alta o alta. Usted indica que tuvo un proyecto similar, sera que todavia tiene el proyecto y es accesible para gente con bajos ingresos? gracias,

  • Sean

    hmm, I still think the AbleNook idea is better, but I may be slightly biased…

  • Van Ram

    40000 it doesnt cheap, anyway whatever you want or believe. Could be cheap in Dubai. But not for Latinamerica.