AB design studio, inc.

AB design studio, inc.

Santa Barbara, CA | Los Angeles, CA


HO:ME 296

Shipping containers seem to be a hot commodity and people want to use them for many solutions. HO:ME 296 integrates ISBUs into a modern home in a sophisticated way using concrete and structural steel.

HO:ME 296 is nestled into the foothills of Santa Barbara with views of the mountains to the north and the ocean to the south. The Owners, an environmental attorney and fashion stylist, wanted a sustainable and elegant contemporary home that complemented their personalities and occupational passions - and it had to incorporate shipping containers. The result is a two-story, 3-bedroom 3.5 bathroom residence that seamlessly integrates five reclaimed shipping containers. The upper level consists of four 40-foot containers that form the master suite and bedroom spaces, separated by a dramatic central stairwell and corridor with skylight. On an open first floor plan, the architects combined living spaces and kitchen to create a center of activity and area for entertaining. The space’s main focal point is an exposed 20-foot shipping container that was transformed into a pantry and scullery.

 The home sits rather exposed to the elements with a great opportunity to take advantage of passive heating and cooling techniques. As you approach the home, the rather simple façade of overlapping panels helps create a sense of mystery and uncertainty. However, upon entering the gate and walking in, the home unfolds with steel, glass and views. It is then that you are able to see that the second story of HO:ME 296 is made mostly of shipping containers.

Cut into a sloping site, the home is nothing short of a triple-threat: it’s largely prefabricated; it incorporates recycled/recyclable materials; and it presents as an elegant display of modernism while being largely heated and cooled by the natural environment.

A concrete retaining wall on the north side of the lot is made of architectural concrete and doubles as a structural retaining wall and interior finish, part of the design solution used to create the illusion that the residence is carved into the hill. An expansive floor-to-ceiling, sliding glass door system opens up to the large patio and pool, blurring the line between indoor & outdoor spaces.

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Status: Built
Location: Santa Barbara, CA, US
Firm Role: Architect of Record
Additional Credits: Interior Designer: McFadden Design Group
General Contractor: Barber Builders
Landscape Architect: Greens Landscape, Inc.
Structural and Civil Engineer: Ashely & Vance
Electrical Engineer: JMPE