Out of the box
It’s the house of the future: a converted shipping container utilising recycled materials
IF SMALL is the new black in housing, then fashionable building designer James Kendall is the John Galliano of the Hobart property market.
As we move away from the McMansion-style homes and into increasingly smaller living spaces, Kendall’s latest project may just take the crown for the smallest apartment in Hobart.
At just 14sq m, the converted shipping container has just enough room for a sofa bed, sitting area, kitchenette, shower room and has a rooftop garden.
As housing availability in cities becomes tighter, more people are turning to tiny studio apartments.
Converting containers into homes is is becoming a popular trend in countries such as Holland and Britain.
Sourcing the container from Norske Skog, Kendall, the principal of Deep Green Building Design, wanted to create something that would not only be sustainable but have an element of transportability.
‘‘ I see these as potentially being used by younger people who can’t really afford to get into the market or those who just want to downsize,’’ Kendall said.
‘‘ Maybe even those who like to move around a lot and don’t want the hassle of building or buying all over again, instead they could take the house with them.’’
The container is clad in salvaged oregon and macrocarpa timber sourced from the Derwent Valley and sits beside Kendall’s 1840s stone house in North Hobart, effectively acting as an extension for his extended family.
‘‘ In 2002 I first started thinking about this after being inspired by Melbourne architect Sean Godsell who designed a future shack which could be transported anywhere for disaster relief,’’ he said.
‘‘ Then, with an ageing mother- in- law who needed somewhere simple and low maintenance, this idea occurred to me.’’
It is wired for electricity and has sewage connected. With double- glazed windows and super- insulation, the space is so efficient it does not require heating. The interior has been clad in recycled hardwood and most of the shelving, appliances and other items are also second hand.
The exterior stairs lead to the rooftop deck and garden space which has great views across the city.
‘‘ I don’t think we really utilise our rooftop space properly, it can be such wasted space,’’ Kendall said.
I don’t think we really utilise our rooftop space properly, it can be such wasted space
‘‘ Part of the planning outlook for Hobart should be to look at building up the centre so you can have a decent- sized dwelling on a small block.’’
Originally from England, Kendall and his Australian wife moved to Tasmania for a tree change about five years ago.
‘‘ I did an engineering degree in England years ago and never really used it,’’ he said.
‘‘ Years later I wanted to finally do something I was passionate about so I retrained as a building designer.’’
Having constructed the project himself, the designer now has a professional builder on board for any future clients wanting to follow in his footsteps, with various sizes and designs available.
SELF CONTAINED: ( clockwise from main) James Kendall of Deep Green Building Design has transformed a shipping container into a studio flat; the lounge and sofa bed; compact kitchen; timberclad exterior; and there’s room for a wardrobe.