Stacked Curb Appeal

Converting shipping containers into a living space isn’t an easy task.

Just ask Alan Mederos, the general contractor and owner of the eye-catching, short-term rental property on University Drive, just past West Seventh. It’s made of four of them. “It took about a year and a half to build — which is way too long,” Mederos said. “There are just a lot of aspects that make it more challenging.”

But Mederos was able to pull it off with credit to the brains at local architecture and design firm 97w for the shipping container idea, and a lot of other outside help. Though building the home/office was hard, making it look cool was easy, because much of its curb appeal is the authenticity. All four containers (two 40-foot containers stacked on top of two 20-foot containers) still boast the original red and blue colors, order numbers, yellow caution signs and handwriting on the outside. The remaining steel lockboxes on the bottom two containers create much of the house’s modern and industrial feel. “We thought that gave it a cool aesthetic,” says Mederos.

The large windows and glass doors provide plenty of natural sunlight. There is even a natural “skylight” in the upstairs container, which is simultaneously the stairway to the 700-square-foot, fully furnished rooftop deck overlooking the Cultural District. “When we bought this space, we knew we wanted to do something cool and funky that had a rooftop-deck view,” Mederos says. “The original concept we showed the architects was based around it.”

The Airbnb houses business travelers and anyone wanting to spend a few nights in a cool, sustainable house — or at least one in a great location. “It definitely appeals to people who are looking to stay somewhere unique,” says Mederos.

by Kat  Barclay