MC13 House Shows Shipping Container Possibilities with Industrial Chic Style

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Michael Gooden
Rendering of the MC13 House by M Gooden Design

The craze for shipping container homes shows no signs of slowing down, as consumers seek out the eco-friendly, unusual abodes.

One Texas design firm is following up their acclaimed shipping container home in East Dallas with another industrial chic home near Waco, Texas.

M Gooden Design, a residential design studio based in Dallas, is in the design and documentation phase of the MC13 house near Waco. The home will be constructed from 13 locally sourced shipping containers, with around 3,500 square feet on two stories, says founder Michael Gooden.

“It will sit on the top of a hill in the middle of 300 acres, and the aesthetic is a blend of industrial feel with some Midcentury modern undertones in there,” he said. “The clients currently live in a 1950s Midcentury Modern house and we wanted as a design team to remember to that era.”

Gooden and associate Kevan Russell are creating an open concept house. This is possible when using shipping containers because of a secondary steel superstructure within the house that carries the weight and the distributed loads of the containers as they are stacked on top of each other.

Michael Gooden
The PV14 House in East Dallas by M Gooden Design received huge attention. It is made of 14 shipping containers, completed in late 2014. Photo: Wade Griffith

The MC13 house will have three bedrooms downstairs, with a master suite and second living area upstairs. The master suite will have a 16-by-12 covered balcony, and the second living area, on the other side of the house, will have a 16-by-8 covered balcony.

On the ground floor will also be open kitchen, dining, and living areas, with reclaimed hardwood floors and exposed ceilings. An outdoor cabana, also made from a shipping container, will be connected to the house and overlook the swimming pool, a 32-by-12 in-ground affair.

The shipping container exterior of the home will be left exposed, painted and coated (the rendering shows orange, but they’re still working out the final details of the color).

By their nature, shipping container homes are eco-friendly, but they are not necessarily any cheaper than a more traditional home, Gooden says.

“The shipping container is the exterior skin, and you’re saving with that material, but it’s insulated with foam, it has wood studs, sheetrock, all the same materials [as a more traditional house] because they have to meet the same codes,” he said. “We’re using both steel and wood and in traditionally built homes, you don’t have that added cost of integrating the steel with the building.”

Homes like the MC13 can run from $175 per square foot to $250.

“I want the client to come in here [to see us about a shipping container house] because they really enjoy that industrial modern look and maybe they want to tap into being eco-friendly, source the containers used and locally, and use that with a building block for the rest of the project,” Gooden said. “A lot of people are a little misinformed from online information saying that using shipping containers is all about saving money—a lot of times, that’s not the case.”