It's been a while since our last project intro, we thought we'd do another one. With summer in mind, there couldn't be a better time to introduce you our project of two shipping container houses called Franskraal Strand.

The project is located in Franskraal on the coastal Overstrand region in the Western Cape, South Africa and consists of two houses: X and smaller Y. The client wants two houses that offers him privacy for his family but equally celebrates the unique views and would be built from the shipping containers.

Franskraal is situated on the southern coast of the Danger Point peninsula, about 5 kilometres (3 mi) to the southeast of Gansbaai. It lies between the neighbouring village of Van Dyksbaai to the west and the mouth of the Uilkraal River to the east. With its Mediterranean climate of wet, cool winters and warm summers, It is often cited as one of the main reasons Britons want to live in South Africa. The seasons are opposite to the UK, too, with summer occurring from November to March, when it can be rainier in most of the country, and winter lasting from June to August, when Cape Town experiences more rainfall. The generally sunny, warm and dry weather makes outdoor living much more likely in South Africa and there is nothing locals like more than getting out into the wild and hosting barbecues in the garden.

They said:

We just saw a possibility for a unique beach rental. We’re also from a port city in the UK, so there were containers everywhere. It wasn’t some obscure idea.

Shipping containers are flood and fireproof, making them a great home-building material. Ranging in length from 8 to 40 ft, shipping containers are typically only used for 10 to 15 years, but they can last much longer. It is estimated that there are 24 million empty shipping containers in the world that will never be used for cargo again. Besides trendiness, interest in container homes is also part of a wider interest in saving money with prefabricated and modular homes. Many potential homeowners are looking for lower construction and maintenance costs. There is also a perception that container homes are contributing to recycling.

House X

This house is made from 10 steel shipping containers (40 ft) and has three levels, (Ground Floor: 150 sqm, First Floor: 140 sqm, Second Floor: 110 sqm). Comprised of a steel frame skeleton and the recycled containers, the house is completed with a series of large openings, terraces, and plenty of outdoor space that attribute a lightweight, refined feel to its otherwise bulky appearance. The house includes a concrete ground floor, on top of which 40′ high cube shipping containers are placed. The ground floor has a covered entrance, garage, and an independent apartment; the first floor houses bedrooms, bathrooms and balconies. The second floor has a gym, terrace, infinity pool and an open-plan living room surrounded by two glass facades offer a stunning views of the surrounding village and the natural landscape, which make the house very airy and well-lighted.

House Y

The house has two levels, each level being 62.5 sqm and was designed using two merged crates on each floor. This house has an entrance, garage, two bedrooms and bathroom on ground floor, while the first floor houses a kitchen and large living room with a balcony.


Both houses are equipped with solar cells and a green roof, not to mention an underground storage container for housing rainwater. We use 40′ high cube shipping contains as the structural framework, rendering it adaptable earthquakes, climate change, and other local challenges.

We look forward to sharing more project information and details soon…

Thanks for reading! :)