An Architect’s Backyard Office Inside A Reclaimed Shipping Container

The studio Randy Bens Architect started out as a tiny practice in New Westminster, Canada, with the architect and a single staff member working out of a home office. In 2016 the architect decided to expand just a little bit but didn’t want to move into a commercial space so alternative ideas were explored. The final decision was to create a backyard office, separate from the house. The new office is an oversized corten steel shipping container.

The shipping container is 40' long, 11.5' wide and 9.5' highView in gallery
The shipping container is 40′ long, 11.5′ wide and 9.5′ high
A special city requirement was that all containers be clad so the architect chose yellow cedar cladding for this projectView in gallery
A special city requirement was that all containers be clad so the architect chose yellow cedar cladding for this project
The cedar cladding gives the office a friendly and inviting look, concealing the weathered steel shellView in gallery
The cedar cladding gives the office a friendly and inviting look, concealing the weathered steel shell

Two of the biggest advantages of having a backyard shipping container office are the fact that you get to work close to home but in an independent space with s a separate area for the staff and for meetings with clients and contractors and the fact that the office can be relocated if and when necessary. In this particular case, the architect chose to organize the container office into three spaces: a kitchenette, a washroom and an open space studio.

inside this container office there's an open space studio with custom furniture, including a long deskView in gallery
inside this container office there’s an open space studio with custom furniture, including a long desk
The container was customized in the supplier's factory and arrived on site 95% completeView in gallery
The container was customized in the supplier’s factory and arrived on site 95% complete
The interior of the office is lined with birch plywood which creates a nice sense of warmth and comfortView in gallery
The interior of the office is lined with birch plywood which creates a nice sense of warmth and comfort
One side of the container features a large glass window which brings in natural light and a view of the backyardView in gallery
One side of the container features a large glass window which brings in natural light and a view of the backyard
The container is placed on a concrete foundation which is smaller than the footprint of the office View in gallery
The container is placed on a concrete foundation which is smaller than the footprint of the office
The cantilevered container office appears to be floating and this gives it a lightweight appearanceView in gallery
The cantilevered container office appears to be floating and this gives it a lightweight appearance
The wood clad exterior allows the office to blend in with the neighboring housesView in gallery
The wood clad exterior allows the office to blend in with the neighboring houses
There are a lot of advantages to having a backyard office and several are in this case related to the container shellView in gallery
There are a lot of advantages to having a backyard office and several are in this case related to the container shell
This is how the interior of the office is divided and organizedView in gallery
This is how the interior of the office is divided and organized