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Architect Envisions Container Tiny Homes for Simple Living

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I can’t help being excited about shipping container tiny homes especially this one you’re about to see which is in Southern Portugal.

I guess it’s the bright color that attracted me to it at first. Then the modern flair the structure has that made me want to share it with you. What a beaut!

The architect Arnold Aarssen from Studio Arte envisions a new way of living using re-purposed containers. Even if it’s just a starter home for young people, a guest house, bed & breakfast, backyard office or art studio.

Made from an old shipping container this 40-foot structure, “could be a great economical living solution”, says Aarssen.

And the main living space is quite spacious while the outdoor terrace provides an inviting atmosphere to hang out in nature. In this model there is one bathroom and an outdoor kitchen.

Shipping Container is Converted into 320 Sq. Ft. Tiny House

Outdoor Terrace with Sailcloth Curtains

Large trees on the property provide ample shade for hanging out on the terrace.

Perfect for morning yoga and afternoon tea!

320-Sq-Ft-Orange-Container-Guest-House-01 320-Sq-Ft-Orange-Container-Guest-House-02

Afternoon Nap Time


Outdoor Terrace is Very Relaxing


Living Space with Modern Decor


Small Dining Area with Views of Nature

There is no kitchen in this container since it’s a guest house they use the kitchen in the main house on the property.

However sources say there is an outdoor kitchen that is not pictured here.

Drink Coffee and have Breakfast Outside


Special Delivery…


Structural Building Process

The architect had a large hole cut into one side of the container to fit the glass sliding doors and create more light in this otherwise pitch dark space.


Due to the warm climate a second roof was built over the container to provide additional ventilation space and keep the small space cool during the summer months.


Images © Studio Arte

How would YOU use a shipping container?

Would you turn it into your full-time tiny home, a backyard guest house, or just leave it and use it for storage while living in a tiny house on wheels on your own land?

Just curious!

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂


If you liked this 320 sq. ft. modern shipping container tiny house you’ll LOVE our Free Daily Tiny Housing Newsletter with even more!

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Andrea is a contributor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the Tiny House Newsletter! She has a passion for sharing tiny and small house stories and introducing you to new people, ideas, and homes.
{ 16 comments… add one }
  • July 9, 2014, 8:29 pm

    I’m building a container house as we speak, 2x 20 footers with an enclosed patio area between them.

    • Richard
      July 9, 2014, 9:00 pm

      Do you have a link with pics? Would love to see an example

    • J. Buoy
      July 10, 2014, 6:40 am

      That is so great Rob…good for you. All the best luck with your project and keep the pics coming.

  • Otessa Regina Compton
    July 9, 2014, 8:43 pm


    • carrie
      July 9, 2014, 9:50 pm

      Otessa…who is going to PAY for them? NOT me!!! I worked my whole life ..yes..even after a stroke at 39yrs..I deserve one and I think they are cute….I may just buy one and I definitely will have a deck like this!

      • Becky
        July 10, 2014, 12:51 am

        Otessa, that could be great but u can’t just give them away free or they will just become slums. People need to have buy-in and some responsibility for what they have. Maybe a model like habitat for humanity would work for these.
        Does anyone know what a shipping container costs?

        • July 10, 2014, 8:12 am

          Size of container and location vary. We have someone in Kansas offering 20 -40 footers starting at $2500. Then you need to figure in shipping to your site as most dealers are limited on distance they may haul.

  • sandra taylor
    July 9, 2014, 10:03 pm

    curious about the inside finishes–sheetrock? how about what kind of insulation was used?

  • Lindy
    July 9, 2014, 10:13 pm

    well… I would make something to live in, definitely. If I had money I would buy a piece of land big enough for my family (seven kids!) and let them build what they want, and I would live in a tiny house. I don’t need a lot for just me.
    Realistically, I want to have some kind of tiny community to live in my tiny house. I don’t know that my kids want to be THAT close.

  • Cahow
    July 10, 2014, 11:06 am

    Very nice and colourful. I’ve always fancied having a separate wee guest house on our property for friends and kids but it’s never gone beyond “thought”. I think my husband and I fear never being left alone if we offer guest lodging to friends/family. LOL

    The text states that there’s an unseen outdoor kitchen; the dining table then makes sense. I would have tossed in a small microwave and electric tea kettle into the mix, for bad weather when you can’t cook outdoors. But, other than that addition, it’s a smashing guest quarters, especially the curtained deck. LOVE it!

  • Lissette.cox
    July 10, 2014, 2:34 pm

    Hi, I’ve been following you email webber for a while now.. I have a home in the Bronx, NY.. In the back i have five indoor garages which I would love to turn into a small home. If you are ever interested on a NY ( bronx ) project. Please think of me. Great Show!!!! I loved it.


  • July 10, 2014, 3:30 pm

    Brilliant! The concept of utilizing shipping containers for sustainable housing is brilliance in a methodology that is simple yet statement creating.I live for the day when the US government utilizes shipping containers to build long term sustainable housing for the less fortunate. The armed forces should review shipping containers for use in rebuilding military bases. Imagine if the Scouting program started creating long term buildings (trading post, health lodge, commissary, dining halls) from these containers as well at the camps still open in America?

  • Dan
    October 17, 2014, 10:40 am

    You missed out this one complete with a $19000 Tub made from 4 x 45ft containers in County Derry ireland http://www.pb-architects.com/completed-photos/

  • Glen
    October 19, 2014, 8:01 am

    The deck and pergola do an excellent job of extending the living area into the outdoors. Those lovely shaded decks and smart decor make this a charming little house.

  • dexter
    October 23, 2014, 4:00 am

    i am bulding a 40 ft container home now i think its great

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