Sustainability: There’s no shortage of creative people giving old buildings a fresh start. With a little imagination and the right resources, almost anything can be turned into a one-of-a-kind home.
Picture the typical house, and you might imagine a cozy bungalow or a low-slung ranch. You aren’t likely to think of a shipping container or silo, but some people look at such structures and dream up ways to turn them into comfortable homes. Here are a few of the most eye-catching examples:
Shipping containers — The shape and size of a steel shipping container make it well-suited to be a house. For example, this 2,350-square-foot property in suburban Detroit consists of seven of these containers fashioned into a sleek residence with frosted-glass doors, modern wood siding and all the amenities of a high-end home.
Water towers — In England, a historic water tower was given new life as a charming space with an arched doorway and a central spiral staircase. Though whimsical, the cylindrical three-story dwelling comes with a serious price tag: It listed for nearly $1.2 million back in 2015.
Silos — In Woodland, Utah, architects linked two corrugated metal silos to make a home with multiple guest beds, each tucked into a wall niche dubbed “bed in a box.” A second-story deck provides a view of the Provo River as well as critical shade for this southern-exposed retreat.
Churches — The original exterior stonework and Gothic windows were retained when an 1880s Methodist chapel was converted into a rentable cottage. The once waterlogged interior was gutted and reimagined in modernist white, save for the entire back wall laid with black-and-white tiles.
Military buildings — Once used to detect German aircraft during World War II, a radar station in Scotland was repurposed as a sleek five-bedroom house with floor-to-ceiling windows, oak floors over radiant heat, and a cantilevered rooftop patio with panoramic views.
There’s no shortage of creative people giving old buildings a fresh start. With a little imagination and the right resources, almost anything can be turned into a one-of-a-kind home.
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