In the countryside of the paddocks near Kialla in northern Victoria, Rachel and James Briggs’ shipping container house is a wonder to behold.
The owner-builder pair that created this exquisite family home connected seven high cube containers, taller than the typical containers, with a design characterised by cantilevers and angles.
From afar, the house looks to bear sections posted above the ground.
James, a builder, says this was his initial attempt at modular building; but he and spouse Rachel really devoted themselves to the project.
James yearned to achieve a design that challenged the traditional concept of a home. He wanted to design the cantilevers, large openings, large spans … to produce something truly unique.
While stylistically impressive—indeed, it was named a finalist for Architectural Design of the Year at the 2019 Australian Construction Awards, and runner up for Offsite Construction Project. The house is a functional and practical place for the pair and their kids Connor, 4, and Aria, 3.
A central, double-storey ‘main house’ boasts numerous living areas and a trio of bedrooms. Separate containers can be accessed when wanted, and can be customised as their habitation needs shift over time.
Rachel explained that the couple has built extensions from this main home, including a semi-detached rumpus room that opens to the exterior, and a lovely detached master suite currently unused. The suite is self-contained and ideal for guests.
The main bedroom suite, situated high on four narrow columns, is accessed by an exterior enclosed glass walkway, and also leads the way to a roof-top entertaining room with expansive views of the land. The couple will use this suite in the future, and look forward to enjoying this home with their children in the future.
The couple can shut off unused sections of the home to lower their energy bills and save on cleaning time.
The couple located their container home apart from the road, for privacy, to facilitate passive solar energy, and capture shade at the right hours of the day.
And for recreational purposes, the living area and the rumpus room have sizable stacker doors that open onto an outside barbecue deck and swimming pool, devising a large indoor-outdoor space.
There’s even a shipping container theatre room in the backyard, plus floor-to-ceiling windows lining the home that provide their own show.
The couple owns JMB Modular Buildings, and believes that their choice of building material is indeed a popular and sustainable one—not to mention a richly stylish one.
Image credits by Serana Hunt-Hughes