Gainesville Sun Artice Features Fox Residence

Comments from the architect…

As with most reporting, things don’t come across like you mean it.  The following quote was from a conversation regarding the home’s construction. The article reads, “Once you get inside the house,” he said, “it’s fairly conventional.” However, the design of the interior is spatially crafted to fit the owner’s specific needs, provide light, air, view and allow minimum heat gain all within the constraints of the container form. It is not “conventional” in that sense. The interior is, however, constructed using conventional materials (2x4s and drywall)!

Why even ask if it is an eyesore? …especially in the articles title. What title sets the tone! You can do better than that! Chad, there is more to your article than “controversy!” I’ll never understand why the press gives so much space to the one and only nay-sayer in the neighborhood…

How about this title, “Gainesville Residence proposes a different way to think about home”.

Please come see this overwhelmingly positive addition to Gainesville’s way of life!

Florida Foundation for Architecture CSH-FL Competition 2011

MWBa Entry to the Florida Foundation for Architecture 4th Annual Design Competition 2011

CSH/FL Case Study Housing for Florida: Sustainable by Necessity

With the goal to re-define the notion of the ‘Florida House’ for the 21st century, the Florida Foundation for Architecture embarked on a design competition program in the summer of 2011  to explore the concept of integrating affordability and sustainability in the design of single family infill housing for neighborhoods and communities throughout Florida.

The Program:

The minimum programmatic requirements for the home are as follows.

  • 1,500 square foot maximum conditioned area (air conditioned space)
  • living/ dining space
  • kitchen
  • three bedrooms
  • two bathrooms
  • utility/laundry space
  • optional garage/ carport – may be attached or a separate structure
  • sustainable features must be incorporated into the solution
  • elements of “universal design” are encouraged
  • Design for typical lot dimensions of at least 30 feet wide and 130 feet deep, with 5 foot side yard setbacks and 10 foot front & rear setbacks.
  • A realistic cost per square foot budget analysis demonstrating that the entrant’s design can conceivably be constructed within a $60 to $70 per square foot cost range. Land cost is to be excluded from the budget analysis.
  • Utilization of sustainable construction materials, methods and details must be incorporated.
  • Utilization of LEED for Homes criteria is recommended but not required
See the images below for plans, exploded axos and more…

Here is a link to the project post at Co-tain…



Fox Residence Final Tours February 25 – 9am thru 3pm

Please don’t miss this opportunity. This will be the last tour session (famous last words). The building permit is closed out, final LEED inspections and testing are underway and Tom is working through the details (finishes, millwork and paint). It’s not finished, but it’s finished enough! Come see this one of a kind Gainesville home. 612 SW 5th Terrace Gainesville Florida (click for a map). Please park in the block north of the site.

Container Guest House 12 06 2011

Container Guest House [DAY 29] 12 06 2011

Installation of Windows + Studs

29 days had passed since the initial proposal to the client. The anchoring of the foundation is finished, the containers are fastened together and the construction of interior is underway.

The carpenter on this project is an interesting individual, he is also an former-landscape designer. One could not ask for a better person for the job. He took on this project as if it was his own child, nurturing and caring for every cut and joint. “Perfection” is his model.

Here are some pictures of the construction process.


Material was carefully removed from the container floor to recess the sliding glass doors.

Container Guest House 12 02 2011



Container Guest House [DAY 25] 12 02 2011

Transformation + unification of containers

With both containers positioned, the welding [cutting] process began. Goal for DAY 25 was to cut suture the new container opening, to grind down and smooth out flooring, and to adapt and adjust containers for installation of studs.



Pieces of container wall panel 12′ by 7′ are cut from each to make the opening that will unify spaces. Cut edges are then spot welded with a steel plate stationed in between exterior wall of containers. Welds are spaced apart, and with the addition of sealant and spray foam insulation will create an economical and efficient building envelope.








The original character of the floor is to be kept, with exception of minor sanding and touch ups. The client likes the raw and industrial qualities of the wooden floor and container edges. To preserve this attribute, no new flooring will be added, only coats of polyurethane finish will be applied to the finish floor.


This specific container was picked for its admirable and endurable wooden floor. Although the container was in great condition, it was not perfect. To accommodate for the installation of studs, some areas of the container had to be jacked back in place.

Container Guest House 11 30 2011

Container Guest House [DAY 23] 11302011

Placement + Connection

Nov. 30 was an important milestone in the course of this project. On this day, all bits and pieces of this simple but elegant vessel converged on the site.

The crane was in position at noon, and shortly afterwards the second half of the container arrived.

Ropes were used to rotate and align containers to their correct positions. After both containers were set in place, John Andrews, the project welder, joined the footings of both containers to embedded steel plates.

The alignment and welding process took roughly 3 hours.





John Andrews, the welder, connecting a footing of the container to a previously installed 6×6 Dia hook.

Container Guest House 11 29 2011

Container Guest House [DAY 22] 11 21 2011

Removal of Forms + Exterior Treatment + Transportation

6 Days have passed since concrete was first confined in the wooden forms; Now, strong and free of formwork, these concrete footings are ready to carry the load of the shipping container.

Here are some pictures of the exterior surface treatment [sanding and buffing for the paint job] and the transportation process. Only half of the container was transported on this day. The other half is scheduled to be moved the following day.


Container Guest House 11 23 2011

Container Guest House [DAY 16] 11 23 2011

Placing of  Concrete + Installation of Hooks (10″x 10″)

Placements of concrete bases and steel plates with hooks were set to match the knuckles of the shipping container. The top of each plate was elevated 1/3 of an inch above the wooden form for welding purpose.

Container Guest House 11 23 2011

Division of Shipping Container

The original Shipping Container is an [45′] aged vessel covered with character and international stamps. After the container was divided, structural frames were added to the edges of the bifurcation and to the bottom beams to prevent twists and shifts. Here are some pictures showing the raw condition of the container and the welding process of the steel frame.