Farm House or a Second home: Experimentation is the key to variety!

Today people don’t mind different innovative ideas being used for constructing their second house. As an architect, I sometimes come across people who are really very open and who don’t mind experimenting with the designs. Before doing experiments it’s the moral duty of an architect, to tell our clients about the risks involved with the project. If the clients are ok and take the responsibility to support the ideas of an architect, then there is nothing wrong with doing the experimentation. One needs to do it, by telling the clients that it’s an experiment, and clients may have to spend a little bit more on repairs of the structure, and since it’s an experiment some things will not work out as planned.

Let’s look at a farmhouse designed by myself, where clients demanded something unique and something different and were ready to spend. I proposed a house made out of shipping containers, which is a very popular way of building something quickly on site. The misconception is that it’s the solution to today’s problems, which is not the truth. In high rainfall areas, many treatments are needed for the steel containers, to make a house waterproof. I hate the restriction on width as shipping containers come with standard widths, lengths, and heights, and life becomes really cramped inside an eight feet wide container!

Rendering of a farm house with shipping container

To solve the above-mentioned problem, I decided to join the two containers and make sizable rooms, I convinced my clients, and clients also hated the idea of a cramped internal space. In a resort, it is probably alright as, people are going to stay for just one night, in a house, it becomes really cramped. Unfortunately one has to go by the height of the container which is around eight feet. Today many architects, have successfully achieved many great forms by using shipping containers and they have successfully forced all the functions inside the eight feet width of a container. I took a decision of building a toilet using a traditional method in brick and mortar. As I also wanted to respond to nature, I took a different approach, and opened some parts, created a balcony, for a bedroom and living room. Followed the standards of having a layer of gypsum, or cement board internally and placing the electrification inside the gap created by two materials.

Renderings of the house made up of shipping containers

Lastly, it was my idea to express the shipping containers in their natural form, and I also tried to create a sense of overdramatic effect by having large cantilevers, and by making a really interesting composition out of the four containers, as I needed sizable room widths.


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