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A home is where you make it
April 20, 2011 6:16 AM   Subscribe

Could you live in repurposed freight containers? How about a pig sty or a water tower? You can really fix a water tower up nicely. Folks can live in all kinds of things, including an old cement factory.

I think the cement factory cries out for furniture made from sea mines.
posted by kinnakeet (38 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite

 
Could you live in repurposed freight containers?

Yup. I could do that. No prob-lay-mo.

How about a pig sty or a water tower?

The pig sty doesn't look all that great from the outside, but, heck, it's more spacious than my current digs, so, yeah, maybe.

You can really fix a water tower up nicely.

So I see. I'd make it a little less austere if I was doing the fixing up, but hey, different strokes.

Thanks for the post, kinnakeet!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:22 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


So I see. I'd make it a little less austere if I was doing the fixing up, but hey, different strokes.

How about you try finding furniture and paintings that fit into non-Euclidian spaces! Every single wall surface is curved. I can't imagine how much of a nightmare it would be to decorate a place like that.

(That said, cool post. Thanks!)
posted by schmod at 6:30 AM on April 20, 2011


I'd live in anything I could afford. Which, in this city in this market, generally means a parking bay or an allotment.
posted by londonmark at 6:37 AM on April 20, 2011


Wow, the Warner Brothers (and their sister, Dot) are living in style.
posted by whitneyarner at 6:38 AM on April 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Dreamfilter: I would live in all of it... at once. Just all of it. Really.
posted by Krazor at 6:39 AM on April 20, 2011


WANT.
posted by Kitteh at 6:40 AM on April 20, 2011


the water tower looks like a set for a future prison cell.
posted by edgeways at 6:42 AM on April 20, 2011


A lot of those places look like great vacation homes. but not so great living spaces.
posted by oddman at 6:43 AM on April 20, 2011


My knees say "no thanks" to the water tower.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:45 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, we could totally get a bunch of shipping containers and use a backhoe to bury them twenty feet underground, then put a pond over it and make our own hidden growlab. The pigs would never find us.
posted by adipocere at 6:46 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've thought about the freight container thing a couple times. It's come up before. I feel like it's a simple and elegant idea, and I'd love to actually give some of my ideas a try, but: insulation! The problem is insulating one enough to make it livable, without losing 25% of the interior space.
posted by penduluum at 6:46 AM on April 20, 2011


I'm always entranced by these unique, proactive-use housing situations.

Then I remember that if I had as much money as gets used to remodel these places, I could make my house (theoretically anyway, still renting) pretty snazzy too.
posted by Phyltre at 6:47 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


How about you try finding furniture and paintings that fit into non-Euclidian spaces!

Heh! Well, I wasn't thinking so much in terms of furniture... heck, I live in a Japanese apartment with tatami floors and almost no furniture! And paintings, too, that is, the lack thereof, is not exactly what I meant when I said "austere". I guess I'd have more drums and stringed instruments hanging on the wall! And use maybe some other colors beside black and white. That'd help, I think. A bit more wood in there, maybe?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:00 AM on April 20, 2011


The cement factory one reminds me a great deal of Las Posas.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:06 AM on April 20, 2011


If you have the skill (or money to hire the sill) to repurpose a water tower, you have the skill (or money to hire the skill) to make furniture with a slight curve to it.

Hell, let me finish cutting the the dovetails in the last two boards for the raised beds I promised my wife and you can hire me!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:12 AM on April 20, 2011


The watertower = Ikea catalog... i.e. just wait until you bring a few boxes of your belongings over and figure out where to distribute the stuff.
posted by crapmatic at 7:14 AM on April 20, 2011


How about you try finding furniture and paintings that fit into non-Euclidian spaces! Every single wall surface is curved.

The furniture isn't so much an issue - once you move through the angles, you no longer have a 'body' per se that requires comfy seating.

I can't imagine how much of a nightmare it would be to decorate a place like that.

The nightmares are a feature, not a bug!
posted by FatherDagon at 7:16 AM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I used to have about half of a floor of this building in Saint Louis, MO. It started life as a fur storage warehouse. It had the coolest front door, but the space was near impossible to secure against thieves.
posted by nomisxid at 7:21 AM on April 20, 2011


The Cistern: Here's another house built from an old water tank.
posted by pretzel at 7:22 AM on April 20, 2011


You can really fix a water tower up nicely.
posted by hippybear at 7:31 AM on April 20, 2011


It's called student housing.
posted by Harry at 7:55 AM on April 20, 2011


How about you try finding furniture and paintings that fit into non-Euclidian spaces! Every single wall surface is curved. I can't imagine how much of a nightmare it would be to decorate a place like that.

schmod, as part of a group that regularly lives out of round tents: you simply abandon the notion that furniture must sit flat against the walls. Then, no problem. It's a different paradigm, but hardly new: instead of large, flat paintings & posters, think Moroccan wall hangings.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:05 AM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Every single wall surface is curved.

Aside from not really being a big problem, it's also not true.

Also, yes and yes.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:23 AM on April 20, 2011


Personally, I would take a gutted and refurbished double decker bus over everything except the cement factory.
posted by slow graffiti at 8:36 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting comment here regarding the "shipping container as housing" idea and what it really takes to make one livable.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:39 AM on April 20, 2011


Dongas. As late as the nineties, it used to be pretty common on smaller mining and exploration sites here to see dongas built from shipping containers.

When a mine went broke, or an exploration team moved on, they had the rather singular advantage of being movable with whatever was at hand. Ie forklift, crane, or just by digging a trench at one end, backing up a truck, and either dragging the donga onto a trailer with a winch, or pushing it on with a dozer.

That said, these days they seem to be mostly purpose built, probably for the reasons mr_crash_davis links to.
posted by Ahab at 8:59 AM on April 20, 2011


I promise you that I feel dirty doing this, but:

MetaFilter: The nightmares are a feature, not a bug!
posted by metaBugs at 9:07 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I live in a converted store front (with a few other MeFites). The front is all windows, frosted three-fourths the way up. During the day it let's in a fantastic amount of sunshine — we don't have to turn any lights on. When we want privacy, or we're worried about security, we have an industrial metal gate that we can close. Four lofted bedrooms have been built up, and each is really two rooms. One is of a moderate size and the other is small, with a low ceiling — it feels more like a cave.

A dream of mine is to live in a converted warehouse in a more rural area. Needless to say, I love converted spaces. Thanks for the post.
posted by defenestration at 9:41 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


damn grocer's apostrophe!
posted by defenestration at 9:43 AM on April 20, 2011


Shelburne Museum in VT had (has?) one of these rehabbed freight container houses. It's pretty swank.
posted by Miko at 10:21 AM on April 20, 2011


The cement factory is incredible, not least because they landscaped the industrial wasteland surrounding it along with the structures. It looks like an ancient castle, with the big trees nearby and ivy growing on the walls. But I wonder, did they rehab the other buildings on the site as well? In the aerial photo from the seventies, you can see that there's a number of smaller buildings sprawled around the giant one in the center.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:53 AM on April 20, 2011


I finally get what they mean by "real estate porn" -- the cement factory damn near stirred my loins literally.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:03 AM on April 20, 2011


No post about fixing up water towers is complete without a mention of The House in the Clouds.
posted by alby at 11:08 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think I'd be happy living anywhere that I'd have to ride an elevator up to. Got all that out of my system living in the kennel-style dorms at PSU.
posted by Straw Cab at 12:27 PM on April 20, 2011


I don't think I'd be happy living anywhere that I'd have to ride an elevator up to.

In my building, the elevator was so old it required a human operator, who went home at 5pm. Problem solved.
posted by nomisxid at 12:55 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's a video of Paulina Rubio showing the Cement Factory building on MTV Cribs. Even if it's kind of annoying it gives a decent sense of the size of the rooms in the building.
posted by JackarypQQ at 1:43 PM on April 20, 2011


I'm not sure I'd live in a shipping container, but I regularly drink at one.
posted by pompomtom at 4:29 PM on April 20, 2011


Here's a Swedish water tower, differently done up than the one in the FPP. It's got an elevator, which was apparently quite a big investment.
posted by Harald74 at 12:01 PM on April 21, 2011


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