A Container Home In San Francisco
Jeff Wardell and Claudia Sagan built a beautiful, modern container home in San Francisco.
Inspired by an article in Dwell magazine written by Emily Thelin, I’ve been oddly fascinated by a home in San Francisco owned by Wardell and Sagen. It’s just a brilliant way to use space and repurpose a couple of used shipping containers as a guest room and home office.
In 2007, after looking for a space that would also accommodate their ever expanding art collection, the couple purchased a 3200 sq ft building in the lower Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco that was the former home of a Chinese laundry. Mr Wardell, a former financial adviser, recalls “(Ms Sagan) knew right away it had excellent bones.” He also loved the length of the loft. “I walked up those front stairs, and I felt like I was at the edge of a highway, like I could keep going forever…I loved that feeling.” So, in collaboration with Lundberg Design, the Wardell + Sagan Projekt “SF Loft” was launched.
They began renovating the space by sandblasting the walls and removing the carpeting, replacing it with hickory planking.
Once they had the shell to their liking, they started looking for the right shipping containers. They first reached out to Hapag-Lloyd in Germany, but were rebuffed, though they did put the word out that a couple in San Francisco were looking for some shipping containers. Eventually the Port of Oakland contacted them, and after thorough inspection, they picked out 2 conex boxes, a 20 and 40 footer.
While a company in Oakland prepped the boxes by removing the pesticide soaked flooring, cutting windows and painting, etc, the couple set to work prepping the floors of their loft to accommodate the heavier load.
Finally, in 2008 the loft and shipping container were ready, and the boxes were trucked via flatbed to the loft and lowered in by a crane through a hole in the roof, cantilevering one over the other. The upper blue container would be Wardell’s home office while the lower orange box would serve as a guest room. To customize the containers, they brought in Pat Carson, who shared the couple’s love of industrial design. The guest room/container is outfitted with a Pullman Bed and exposed copper piping. It’s also open on the ends with glass that turns from opaque to clear at the flick of a switch.
This is really one of the cooler ways to repurpose a shipping container; combining art with functionality. While not necessarily cheap, it is another example of what you can do with a little imagination and the right idea.
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Thanks to Drew Kelly for the wonderful photography
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