Containers of Hope / Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture

© Andres Garcia Lachner

Architects: Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture
Location: , Costa Rica
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 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 21 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down -2

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

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    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

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    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

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      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,

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

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

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    40k? wow, u can build a nice house in the philippine with a nice floor plan

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Less than social housing, but you probably didn’t have to pony up the payola, pocket lining, and bureaucracy that the public housing infrastructure does.

    Still, I like it. A brand-new shipping container can’t be cheap, and I don’t imagine that there are a bunch of unused containers lying around. Kinda like biodiesel, when no one knew and fuel was cheap it was a great idea, but finding free used cooking oil is probably not that easy these days!

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Hi, nice work, but yo say its 100 sqm? I see 2 containers that are about 2,5m x 12m = 30m2 * 2 = 60m2 + (1,5m * 12m)= 78m2 ? where are the other 22m2.- If that is so, your project cost 512 sqm?

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Very nice I love the whole concept but I think this was more about the place than a house

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    40,0000.00 Usd ! o lo que es similar a 20 millones , barato no es !, el calor en ese espacio reducido debe ser insoportable, no me gusta ni la forma ni como se ve ni nada , es un bunker, feo con ganas, con ese dinero mejor se compra cualquier lote en cualquier provincia alejada del area metropolitana y se hace una bonita y tradicional casa , sin irse a los extremos

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