On a farm near the town of Maghera, sits a testament to why container housing is a no brainer with the ever increasing rise of housing costs around the Globe.
Architect Patrick Bradley designed and developed the Grillagh Water House using shipping containers on his farm when he realised it would offer a cheaper alternative to conventional construction methods and would also meet his budget. Oddly enough, he had already designed the home in terms of the facade and aesthetics, but the accompanying cost brought up the idea of a more affordable solution in shipping containers.
He used a total of four (4) 40 ft containers which were purchased, pre-cut and trucked to site, before being assembled around a steel framework. To ensure optimum habitability, the containers were insulated and weatherproofed to fight off condensation buildup that could cause rust on the metal surfaces.The containers were then grouped in pairs to create two wide metal boxes.
Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling water, Mr. Bradley created some nice drama by stacking the boxes atop one another to form a cross-like layout, where the one ontop forms the entrance the home from a gravel road cantilevering over the one below which sits connected to the surrounding landscape.
The upper entrance level features a very nice terrace surrounded by steel fins that shield the interior from direct sunlight and the accompanying heat. The cross formation creates even more terrace space thanks to the ‘roof’ of the lower pair. The terraces connect to the garden below via a minimalist metal staircase, which perfectly fits the aesthetic of the design.
To blend in with the environment and compliment the local context, the Architect used Grey metal cladding resembling the traditional agricultural buildings in the area and pre-rusted Corten Steel panels, to mimick the the landscape and rock on site.
The design is well laid out, with the open plan for the living area on the upper entrance level from where the views of the farm can be enjoyed through floor to ceiling windows, while yet another minimalist steel staircase, takes you to the more intimate lower level. Here you find two bedrooms, one ensuite master at one end, and another at the other end with a bathroom in the middle, that features the splinterworks ‘vessel’ hammock bathtub.
The original budget of the home was £100,000, (roughly N30 000 000, but don’t forget the context of the build), but the final cost of the build went up to £133,000, (now roughly N38 000 000) thanks to the luxury interior design fittings and fixtures such as the above mentioned bathroom that cost £16,000 (about N5 000 000, must be a wealthy architect) .
Looking at everything come together, you see a simple design that makes use of sensible materials to create a unique statement, which, in its context and setting, is affordable.