Caterpillar House Is A Shipping Container Marvel - Efficient And Unique


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Categories: Home Stylings

The use of shipping containers in residential builds is quite popular nowadays, and with good reason: there are untold numbers of the waterproof and durable metal boxes available, so why not put a few to good use? With this in mind, the latest such dwelling to grab our attention is Casa Oruga, or Caterpillar House, by Chilean architect Sebastián Irarrázaval, which also features passive cooling.  Watch the assembly video on page 3.

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Caterpillar House is located on a hillside just outside Chile's capital city Santiago, and boasts views of the Andes Mountains. The decision to use shipping containers as a primary building material derives from a desire to both speed up construction time, and reduce the overall cost of the project.

Caterpillar House by Sebastián Irarrázaval (27)

The property measures 350 sq m (3,800 sq ft), and comprises a total of 12 used shipping containers: five 40-foot (12-m) units, six 20-foot (6-m) units, and one open-top shipping container, which serves as a swimming pool.

Caterpillar House by Sebastián Irarrázaval (1)

Owing to the owner's wishes for Caterpillar House to blend in with the scenery as much as possible, some sections of the home slope with the hillside. This results in an unusual interior layout, with each of the children's rooms sporting an inclined nook, where the bed is placed. The shipping containers were also modified with multiple windows, skylights and adjoining pieces.

Caterpillar House by Sebastián Irarrázaval (3)

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This prefabricated house for an art collector and his family was built in the outskirts of Santiago in a new suburban residential area. In order to reduce construction time and costs, second hand shipping containers were used as follow: Five 40 “standard containers, Six 20“ standard containers and one 40“ open top container for the swimming pool. 

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