We’ve all been privy to the sad sight of Williamsburg getting swallowed up by fancy waterfront condos, and it feels like there’s nowhere left to live over there that’s not a shiny new steel multi-thousand dollar pad. But one adventurous couple’s managed to solve that problem; they built a home out of shipping containers on Keap Street, and they’re all ready to move in. And, yes, we really mean shipping containers.
David Boyle and Michele Bertomen bought a plot of land on Keap between South 3rd and 4th Streets in 2008, well before the New York Times discovered Wythe Avenue. But they couldn’t afford to build a good old brick building on the land, so instead they turned to, ah, alternate building materials. “We were just sitting around one night, bottle of wine, just feeling like we couldn’t do it,” Boyle told DNAinfo. “And then just, ‘How about shipping containers?” Or Lincoln Logs? Or Legos? Or Kinetix? The possibilities are endless!
Of course, Boyle and Bertomen didn’t just jump headfirst into the project. Boyle’s a contractor and Bertomen is an architect, so they did have some professional wherewithal to put a creative endeavor like this in place. They did the calculations, bought six shipping containers (at $1,500 a pop, so don’t do this at home, kids) and stacked them into some kind of viable living space in 2009. Naturally, the city wasn’t too thrilled with this avant-garde construction, and they had to suffer through meeting after meeting with the Department of Buildings until all compromises could be met. But the project finally wrapped up this fall, and now they’ve got this cool new steel box home with all the fixings, including insulated walls, heat and running water, which so far sounds like a major step up from my apartment — are you guys looking for renters, by any chance?
Be sure to check out DNA Info’s slideshow to see how despite the fact that the apartment is made of shipping containers, it’s still nicer than the places we live in.