Have you head of “cargotecture?” It’s a type of construction that incorporates the intermodal shipping containers usually seen on the flatbeds of semi-trucks. The phrase was coined around 2004 by HyBrid Architecture of Seattle, and is a quickly growing trend in the property management industry.
With an estimated two million empty shipping containers sitting around at any given time, adapting these giant steel boxes seems like an obvious solution. After all, the construction is sustainable, and the pieces create original and memorable architecture, among other advantages.
In Huntsville, Texas, for example, property developer Wagamon Enterprises is repurposing a slew of the containers into student housing. The 540 square-foot standard efficiency apartments will include appliances, granite countertops and industrial-looking fixture, along with an estimated price of less than one dollar per square foot. Only a few short blocks away from the Sam Houston State University campus, Wagamon is beginning the construction of what will ultimately be 24 efficiency apartment units built four stories high in three buildings, using a total of 36 containers.
“The whole idea behind doing them in shipping containers is just because it’s cool. It’s student housing so we want to make it look cool,” general contractor Jack Wagamon explained. “….Most of the growth on Sycamore over the last five years has been all this student housing. So, we’re just trying to take advantage of that.”
Is there any cargotecture in your neighborhood?