FROM SHIPPING CONTAINER TO METAL PALACE
Homes built from shipping containers have a lot of character beneath their tough exterior. Built from repurposed shipping containers and other recycled materials, this space has everything you could want from a home. Let's take a look inside...
The perfect combination
In the living room, Arno makes maximum use of sustainable items. The interior is a mishmash of furniture inherited from his mother, some homemade pieces, recovered objects and IKEA products. "I try to combine quality, comfort and pleasure", explains Arno.
A flexible workstation creates space for coming up with new ideas, such as Arno's handmade furniture on wheels. He has set up his home office as a kind of pop-up space, which he can move easily. "Now I have more free time to work on my rolling furniture sculptures. Of course, if you work less, you earn less; that's a compromise you have to make. But my body and mind have to be free to move", says Arno.
Sixty percent of my home is made of reused or recycled material.
Everything within reach
Sometimes, living in a shipping container entails certain restrictions. Arno embraces his narrow kitchen by exploiting the advantages of open storage. Everything is within reach! To prevent the space becoming too cramped, the kitchen has three entrances, one of which has access to the dining table, which is split across an indoor and outdoor space.
Designed by nature
I planned the layout of the rooms to follow the sun. The bedrooms and bathrooms are located in the east and the living room faces south; at breakfast, the sun shines on the dining table and in the afternoon it floods into the living room. It's nice to bring your daily rhythms in line with those of nature", says Arno.
Taking the plunge
How did you make the move from a traditional home to a shipping container?
"I used to work as a painter, but when I recovered from a serious illness, I realised just how short life can be. I wanted to create a better way of life."
Had you ever built anything from scratch before?
"Everyone thought I was crazy. My previous experience was limited to a tepee and a chicken coop! But I wanted to create something myself, and it worked."
Where did you source your materials?
"There is a huge surplus of shipping containers in the USA, so for me it was logical to reuse them. Sixty percent of my home is made of reused or recycled material. This is something I'm really proud of."
Have you always been interested in sustainable living?
"My interest in sustainability comes from my love for cooking and growing up in the south of France. As soon as you realise what damage non-organic products can cause, you begin to understand what the impact might be. I don't believe that anything can ever be 100% sustainable, but you can work to close the circle."
Can you see yourself living in a shipping container?
In various places across the Netherlands, shipping containers are now being repurposed as homes, often for student tenants in large cities. While the format has some limitations, they are more than compensated for by the cheaper rent. And actually, the metal palace look is pretty cool.