Homes from shipping containers: how the American homeless live


US firms NAC Architecture and Bernards built homes for the homeless in Los Angeles from old shipping containers. Want to see what's inside?

The first social housing project from used shipping containers is located in an area of ​​1.7 hectares in the suburbs of Los Angeles, where the city used to be a parking lot. This is a collaboration between NAC Architecture and California-based construction firm Bernards. Initially, it was planned to build a new prison on this site, but in 2019 the plans changed, and it was decided to use the site to provide housing for the homeless, of which there are about 60 thousand people in Los Angeles today. The decisive factor was the Covid-19 pandemic, which most of all hits the most vulnerable segments of the population, that is, the homeless.

The complex stands on an irregularly shaped plot and consists of several one-story and multi-story buildings, for the construction of which were used: repurposed shipping containers, prefabricated wooden prefabs and mobile blocks. Some of the buildings were assembled and delivered to the site in a ready-made form, which made it possible to significantly speed up the implementation of the project and complete it in six months.

premises. The territory also provides landscaped yards, a green area for walking dogs and parking spaces for staff and residents. The three-story buildings are assembled from steel containers stacked on top of each other.

Large windows were cut out, walls and ceiling were additionally insulated to make the shipping containers habitable. Each container contains two apartments with an area of ​​12.5 sq. meters. Inside there is a bed, microwave, refrigerator, flat-screen TV and a private bathroom.

To prevent the mass spread of coronavirus, all premises of the complex are equipped with their own heating and ventilation systems. The facility opened in April 2021 and was already completely filled with tenants in May. The total project cost was $ 57 million.

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