In Peru, Shipping Containers Become Low-Cost Modular Homes

The project from TRS Workshop looks to help create a local community and protect against natural catastrophes

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Courtesy TRS Workshop

Just north of Lima, Peru, in the district of Ventanilla, studio TRS Workshop has realized a series of modular homes under the name Ventanilla Module, transforming shipping containers into modern living spaces. Nestled between the coast of the Pacific Ocean and the cordillera of the Andes, the local history of a small town is revived in a unique revisitation of the domestic dimension.

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Courtesy TRS Workshop
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Courtesy TRS Workshop

As part of the Callao region, the settlement takes the same name of the port city that acts as a buffer between the oceanic waters and the city of Lima. Thanks to its strategic position, Callao became a leading port during the colonial period, where merchants brought goods like gold and silver from South American mines to be transported to Spain. Today, the city continues to embrace its international identity with the Jorge Chávez international airport and Peru’s main sea port with an abundance of shipping containers.

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Courtesy TRS Workshop
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Courtesy TRS Workshop

Located within the Ventanilla district, the Pesquero II settlement rests in the town of Pachacutec, an outpost populated by local fishers, where the Ventanilla Module looks to serve as a low-cost living solution offering comfort for a family of four without impeding on the surrounding natural landscapes.

At the base of the living concept is a reutilized shipping container, selected as a sustainable and space-savvy shell. Available in dimensions up to 8x15 meters, the prototype cuts down on construction time, which also makes it useful in the case of a natural disasters.

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Courtesy TRS Workshop
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Courtesy TRS Workshop

Interiors of the modules are easily transformed by their inhabitants, flaunting flexible spaces with the help of cost-effective partitions made from OSB panels. The structure of the home itself is composed with two overlapping elements: the container, which acts as a base for the property, and a light volume framed in polycarbonate above, allowing air and light to pierce the space. Inside the former, shared environments are developed across the ground floor, including a kitchen and living area, while the latter welcomes private bedrooms and bathrooms above.

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Courtesy TRS Workshop

The design for these habitable modules also aims to engage the local community, which is called upon to participate in their realization. In this way, sustainable and self-made architecture is geared to bring longterm benefits to the future of the town.

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