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The Peruvian Designers Re-Imagining Shipping Containers as Affordable Housing

TRS Studio hopes its designs could spark a sustainable revolution in the country.

04.06.2019 | by Christy Romer
Photo by TRS Studio
Photo by TRS Studio

The Ventanilla district, just to the north of Lima, Peru, is dusty, dry, and “highly vulnerable” to earthquakes and tsunamis. A collection of wooden and corrugated iron shacks — of varying structural integrity and architectural charm — are strewn across the hillside, the victim of high winds, baking heat or almost total fog cover, depending on the time of year.

In short, it’s the sort of place that a safe and sturdy home would be welcomed. And it’s here that Lima-based architectural practice TRS Studio is hoping to roll out its affordable shipping container housing concept.

The designs — yet to be released at scale — involve two cargo containers joined together, covering approximately 60 square metres. They’re topped by a pitched ceiling made out of durable and recycled polycarbonate, which lets light flood into the house.

The idea is to support communities, particularly those that struggle to buy their own materials

Inside, the space would include two bedrooms, a toilet, a living room, a kitchen and a study, and would be divided over two floors and internally by recycled and eco-friendly plywood. Regulating heat is key: The plywood has been praised for its role in preventing heat from escpaing.

Similarly, prospective home owners would also be encouraged to keep a small indoor garden, using light from the ceiling, which would function as a thermal regulator.

As reported by design magazine Dezeen, TRS hopes that the studio will become a model for low-cost and self-built housing in the area — changing the urban image of the region as a key partner in sustainable construction. The idea is to support communities, particularly those that struggle to buy their own materials, by actively involving them in the project.

Tags: housing, Peru

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