After purchasing a 3.5-acre plot of land in Topanga, California, where a rustic 750-square-foot cabin already stood, architect Christof Jantzen set out looking for ways to expand the cabin to house his family of five. He opted to complete the expansion using five recycled shipping containers and managed to create a wonderful blend of the old and the new in the resulting home. Adding the shipping containers expanded the size of the house to around 1550-square-feet.
The Colorado-based Formworks Building Inc. has been specializing in earth sheltered building technology since 1979. The main idea behind their buildings is the creation of sustainable, affordable housing. Formworks structures have an estimated usable life span of over one hundred years without any major maintenance. These houses are built into the earth surrounding the building site, which has the added bonus of protecting the home from raging storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, mudslides and so on.
The Rural Studio members, founded in 1993 by Sam Mockbee, have been perfecting the design of the so-called 20K House for the last twenty years. The project was started by Mockbee who created a program where Auburn University’s architecture students could use reclaimed wood or natural other materials to design houses for low-income residents of Hale County, AL. For the past ten years, the students have been building these homes for the poor living in the Black Belt area of Alabama. But now the 20K house is being put on the general market.