Container conversion: Part 1

Southern side of studio (entrance)
Southern side of studio (entrance)

Just before Christmas last year we had a 40ft hi-cube container delivered to our block where it was installed in the bottom of the garden with the intention of converting it into a workshop/studio space for the resident artist. While said artist had some flash CAD plans prepared and was already visualising a New York loft-style space, at the end of the day it will be a glorified shed and storage space, which will hopefully reduce the amount of things piling up in my workshop.

Mounted on concrete piers, the long sides of the container face north/south and two sets of double doors (2.05×1.63m) and window spaces (1.06×2.3m) have been cut into the walls in preparation for French doors and louvred windows to be installed. There will be about 2m x 8m of workable space inside for a table and seating and a kitchenette (an old $10 school desk with a small sink cut into it). A 2mx2m store room will be positioned on the eastern end where the existing double doors are – one of these will remain useable so it can opened for airflow and to manoeuvre large items into the store room. We’re looking into a self-contained composting toilet for this space too.

Aerial view of container design
Aerial view of container design

The container will be wired up and insulated then lined with plasterboard. A roof will be built over it, extending on to the southern side to provide an outdoor, undercover area which we’ll pave with recycled pavers from an existing pergola construction currently sitting alongside the container. This, along with the space provided underneath by the piers, will provide air flow both under and over the container, helping with the climate control that will be required, given the artist is insisting she doesn’t want heating or cooling in the space. The first summer might test her.

There are plans for a recycled timber deck on the northern side looking down the paddock. Plumbing will be minimal, just enough to supply the kitchenette and to make a cuppa from time to time. As we often do here when it’s dry, waste water will be bucketed from the sink into the native garden surrounding the space. Water needs won’t be high with a composting toilet, and the artist is more into high-tech art making these days rather than painting.

It’s been a bit of a learning curve working out the how-tos for this conversion and I’ve been getting advice from various sources along the way, but we’re now into it and it’s really starting to take shape. We’ll keep you updated as it progresses…and when the resident artist finally takes over the space. Meanwhile she’s selecting lighting, flooring and working out paint colours…

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5 thoughts on “Container conversion: Part 1

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