XabVYPT - Imgur

I know that not everyone is going to agree with me, but I’ve been thinking about this ever since PV14 was built: Shipping containers as housing is over.

So over.

When Michael Gooden was hoisting the long metal boxes in the air that would make up his shipping container project in Old Lake Highlands that overlooks White Rock Lake, I had to wonder: Why are we using metal boxes to build things in Texas? Have you ever been inside a storage unit without climate control in summer here? It’s the equivalent of being baked alive. Heck, if you want to sweat it out, go to King Spa. But a corrugated metal home in an area where you’re roasting on 100-degree days throughout the summer? No thanks. And consider that, if you’re just building a room without modifying the container size, it’s only 7 feet wide, which is hardly a good size for a human-scaled space.

And yet, Zad Roumaya wants to build an apartment development in the Cedars that will be made of shipping containers. He says he’ll call the concept, should it get off the ground, ModPod. But how much sense does it make to assemble all these boxes to build a structure that costs hundreds of dollars to retrofit for our climate?

I was glad to see that my misgivings were validated by someone far more qualified: San Francisco-based OpenScope principle Mark Hogan. Hogan, an architect who has even done a shipping container project has much more to say on the matter.


Photo: Wade Griffith

Photo: Wade Griffith

I think I’ve heard just about everything there is to hear about PV14, the modern home constructed of 14 shipping containers located on Peavy Road in Old Lake Highlands. The home, which has outstanding panoramic views of White Rock Lake and downtown Dallas, including Boy Scout Hill, has been praised and has raised several eyebrows as neighbors watched the home go vertical.

It’s been called both trendy and tremendous, but while there was some negative feedback from some of the homeowners, many of whom felt the structure was too tall for a neighborhood full of single-story 1950s traditionals, after the AIA Dallas Tour of Homes the collective gasp of excitement over the home was well heard.


PV14 Ext

PV14 facing Peavy Road (Photo: M Gooden Design/PV14House.com)

If there’s one thing that the discussion regarding the proposed restaurant at Boy Scout Hill has done it is galvanize a movement to preserve White Rock Lake. I suppose, depending on your viewpoint, this could be both positive and negative, as preservation often means ex-nay on any kind of development (or even re-development, for that matter).

Which brings us to one of the most interesting structures going up around the lake right now, the modern shipping container home on Peavy Road in Old Lake Highlands called PV14. The home, designed by M Gooden Design and constructed by Herman Darden Custom Homes, has sweeping views of White Rock Lake and downtown Dallas, thanks to its unique build and rooftop deck. This is definitely one of those homes that will be featured on the White Rock Home Tour when it’s done.