MB Architecture in the United States piled shipping containers to build this black house in Amagansett, New York in just a few days.
Amagansett Modular is a weekend house of 1800 square feet (167 square meters) on a tiny forested property in the hamlet on Long Island's south coast.
The customers, a family with three children, had a restricted budget and were willing to experiment with unusual building materials and procedures.
To save money, MB Architecture built the boxy, two-story tower out of shipping containers, which were manufactured off-site and then installed in situ in two days.
Shipping containers are naturally small (7'2" wide when completed on the interior). So MB Architecture decided to stack two 40' long x 8' wide containers on top of each other and carve off the inner floor, wall and ceiling of half of this '4-pack' unit to create a massive, 17' tall living area with intriguing and required spatial relief. To reach the second floor from this room, MB Architecture installed a wide staircase that spans the entire width of a single container, extending the high living room ceiling and transforming the stair itself into a kind of 'amphitheatrical' room that faces the backyard, pool, and sunsets - all through floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows.
To achieve engaging and uncluttered spaces while staying under budget, the spatial layout and materials were kept as simple as possible. As a result, MB Architecture guided room layout and structural needs using the rectilinear geometry of containers and their inherent structural strengths. In actuality, the modest 10' x 10' 2nd-floor expansion is bolted and welded back to the main structure and kept in tension - there are no beams below. The single container containing two bedrooms is set back from the main building to create courtyard-like outdoor areas that allow the structure to snuggle into the undulating terrain while making the small house feel vast.
A single large oak tree was carefully preserved during construction and serves as a vital point for connecting the two portions of the structure. The transparent bridge that connects these two building segments is surrounded by thick grasses and plants, making for a pleasant walk-through experience as one goes through the bridge and approaches the front entrance of the house. Our building was installed in two days, completed in two months, and cost much less than current building prices.
Photographs by Matthew Carbone.
The Radius House is the young firm's first residential project, which was finished in the early weeks of 2022.