Topanga Container House

Topanga Container House

CLIENT: Private

LOCATION: Topanga Canyon, CA

SIZE: 2,450 SQ FT


PROGRAM: Single family residential

a wooden cabin, shipping containers and a floating metal roof...

The design is based on a modular concept to add living space to an existing wood cabin. Metal shipping containers, typically smelted after 3-10 uses were re-purposd and modified to fit the spatial requirements and layout.

Edges and inner housings were laser cut off-site to combine an assemblage of five shipping containers to be delivered to the project site, in Topanga California. Above the residence is a single-span, corrugated metal roof with site-welded tubes mounted atop container edges.

This roof creates a buffer between the shipping containers by “floating” above the existing cabin. This roof detail provides protection from wind and rain while creating a natural cross-ventilation in the interstitial spaces in an effort to mitigate convection heating within the containers.

All glazed ends are operable to encourage cross-ventilation within the unit and light-colored interior surfaces reduce the demand for electric lighting during the daytime.


our process

Container design has been a particularly intriguing concept to us for a very long time. Starting with this Topanga Container Residence, designed by Christof Jantzen for his family, the passion and inquiry for the endless possibilities of this form of construction has evolved in numerous studies ranging from single and multi-family residences, to mobile coffee-shops.

When approaching a design with a specific material or product in mind, we are able to focus our efforts in innovative solutions that respect and respond to the opportunities and challenges at hand. Instead of switching to different alternatives, we are invited to speculate solutions that might otherwise have never been brought to light. This in turn, has lead to creative outcomes that has further reinforced our passion for this mobile construction type.

← Back to Projects