The Container House in Måns Tham is an unconventional house in Stockholm
Container House is an unconventional Stockholm house that emerged from a collaborative process between its owners and Swedish architect Måns Tham
In 2015, a couple approached Swedish architect Måns Tham with an unusual idea. They wanted to build a house from old shipping containers, building on their fascination with custom American cars and a handcrafted, industrial aesthetic. Tham obliged, and following intensive research into manufacturing, engineering and insulation methods to adapt this somewhat ubiquitous but certainly unconventional, especially for homes, unit building, Container House was born .
The structure sits on the outskirts of Stockholm, perched on a sloping, rocky suburban site by a lake. Its front door connects to the street via a thin bridge, which makes entering this unusual structure even more spectacular. The final design (which was not too far removed from the original concept of the residence) arose out of intense consultation with experts and clients, who were particularly involved in the development of their future home. “We ended up having a great iterative process where we designed solutions as we went,” Tham recalls. “The original proposal and plan, however, never changed. ”
As, perhaps, was planned with an architectural design that goes against the norm, the project faced several challenges that Tham had to overcome. ‘[I needed] to find all the technical solutions that made the house compliant with the code (Sweden has very strict energy rules for new houses) and to make these solutions look good and work well, ”he explains. ‘[Additionally], containers are really not a great starting point for a home due to their limited width, 2.4m. But as soon as you remove the corrugated walls between two containers to make the room larger, they lose their structural strength. Therefore, we had to put a lot of effort into deciding which walls to cut and which to keep, so that we could use the containers with as little additional structure as possible. ‘
Another key element to consider was the fixtures and fittings, the floors and ceilings and all the elements that come together to dress the frame and make a house a home. According to Tham, everything from handrails to fireplaces and faucets had to be carefully considered and often customized to suit the aesthetic and practical demands of the container house. Items found, such as a wooden staircase salvaged from a demolished restaurant site, have also been incorporated in some places. The floors are in poured concrete.
The result is a striking and inventive structure of around 150m², a labor of love, painted gray to match the surrounding rock. The geometry of the container elements dominates the composition and gives a unique rhythm to the facades. Large openings bring in lots of light – the living room and dining room in particular are flooded with sunlight, while the roof terrace provides excellent sunbathing, especially in the afternoon and at dusk. Meanwhile, the rawness of the interior is softened by framed windows and long views of the surrounding greenery and suburban backdrop, as nature appears around every corner of Container House. §