Out of the box

It’s the house of the fu­ture: a con­verted ship­ping con­tainer util­is­ing re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Jes­sica Howard Email jes­sica. howard@news.com.au

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.

Pic­tures: KIM EISZELE

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.

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