A Look Inside DC’s Shipping Container Apartments

by Lark Turner

DC has its first residential complex made up of shipping containers.

The four-unit complex at 3305 7th Street NE (map) took seven months to build from conception to build-out, according to architect Travis Price. UrbanTurf first heard about the project this summer.

Now we can take a look inside. The apartments’ interiors are very sparse, and as builders Sean Joiner and Matthew Grace told the Washington Business Journal, it appears that the apartments were made out of recycled materials. The floors are a mixture of welded metal and wide-plank. Corrugated plastic is used on the building’s exterior.


The interior and exterior are most noticeable for the huge windows built into the sides of the containers. Pieces of the container form shutters, and a few of these large windows lead out onto balconies in the back of the building.

See more photos of the complex below:


This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a_look_inside_brooklands_shipping_container_apartments/9023


  1. M said at 11:37 am on Monday September 29, 2014:

    Lark, do you have a set of floor plans to add here?

  1. Jacob said at 11:52 am on Monday September 29, 2014:


    Here is an image of their floor plan taken from WTOP’s photo gallery.  I personally love the way these turned out.  Sleek, modern & the use of recycled materials is a nice touch.  The rooms look spacious as well.

  1. Cheryl said at 2:19 pm on Sunday October 5, 2014:

    While the architectural feat is intriguing, and the environmental strategies are interesting, it’s cosmetic value is less than desirable - much less. The placement of this structure is completely incongruous with the neighborhood in which it is placed. This collection of oddly shaped boxes, in colors that look like my kid’s Leggo set, are stacked one on top of the other and are barely recognizable as residences. This structure is plopped right into the midst of a lovely street with colonial, bungalow, and historical detached homes with front porches and yards. I walk by these units regularly and feel deeply sorry for the neighbors. My conversations with others nearby have told me I am not alone. I can’t imagine this isn’t going to seriously decline their property values.
    It might work if you could place it in an industrial zone or a railroad yard, or maybe a kid’s playground as a playhouse. But as a serious set of apartments in an established neighborhood? I don’t think so.

  1. DC Resident said at 1:22 pm on Monday October 6, 2014:

    What is the soundproofing like between these shipping container homes?  I would think this could be a practical problem.

  1. George Runkle said at 11:49 am on Sunday October 19, 2014:

    I can’t comment on the aesthetics or what type of neighborhood the building belongs in, but I can comment on the sound proofing.  There is an air gap between the floors which provides a really great sound barrier. 

    I stayed overnight in the upstairs of a house I engineered in New Haven, CT and downstairs my client and his friends were playing extremely loud music.  None of the sound came through - it was rather eerie actually. 

    Structurally this house is over designed, DC required a minimum 20 psf wind load for the design, which is about a 130 MPH windstorm.  I actually did some conservative design assumptions that will allow it to take a higher wind load than that. 

    The steel is corrosion resistant and it has a very durable epoxy paint on it. This will keep the rust down and allow it to last many years.

  1. NathanDavidson said at 4:17 am on Monday November 30, 2015:

    Once the flooring and the windows are put in, you honestly wouldn’t be able to tell that the shell is a storage container! The interior is really well done!

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