This 8X8X20 steel shipping container is only visible from the north side of the hill, which faces the house site.
When approaching from the road, the container is invisible–you see only the grassy hills, one of which is crowned with a small ventilation chimney, eventually to be crowned with an ornamental weather vane.
The shipping container has been buried in the hillside to create a hidden…and temperature-controlled unit for storage. The door and chimney ventilation allow a through flow of air to prevent condensation and doors are insulated with 1.5” rigid foam.
The interior temperatures vary by just twenty six degrees year round (ranging from 48 to 74 degrees), while outside temperatures range from 10 to 105 degrees. This fluctuation can be narrowed by creating shade on the exposed metal doors: either by planting a tree or a trellised vine
The buried container is an experiment in the investigation of the potential for energy efficiency in earth-sheltered structures. Currently the unit houses antique furniture, art work and seeds. Future uses may include storage for grain grown on site, curing cheeses, root cellar or mushroom cultivation. It can also serve as a safe place in the event of a wild fire.
The material removed to create space for the container was used to build an access road that doubles as an earth-work for harvesting rainwater.
The soil covering the container was rapidly revegetated with native plants to prevent erosion and to blend in with the surrounding area.